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Thorny Properties Reduce Bio-fouling and Costs

NETHERLANDS - NEW TECHNOLOGY: A novel advance in netting for fish farms is offering significant benefits to aquaculture businesses - both physically and financially.

Collaboration between fibre specialist DSMDyneema and the Dutch company Micanti, has produced a unique, tough, long-lasting net system that with revolutionary non-toxic, anti-fouling properties.

The combination of the non-toxic Thorn-D® anti-fouling coating, combined with Dyneema's the highly durable netting fibres, provides long-term, non-toxic resistance to marine debris and detritus and can help avoid environmental and fish-health issues, says its developer Micanti.

Fish nets with the Thorn-D® coating

The Thorn-D® anti-fouling treatment is a patented non-toxic technology that provides a physical barrier for bio-fouling.

By applying very specific short fibres (thorns) to the surface of the net, the fibres become prickly and unattractive for fouling organisms to settle. And by using excellent water-based adhesion techniques, Thorn-D® will last for over five years and remain free of especially the hard type of biofouling, says Micanti. The nets have proved effective on trial sites across many different locations, including: the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Preservation without risk

Thorn-D Dyneema nets require less maintenance and overall have a reduced life cycle cost as they rarely need cleaning. There are also health, welfare and environmental benefits, says Micanti.

Bio-fouling, or build-up of algae on nets, can reduce the efficiency of material and equipment used in farming, leading to their actual damage, as well as causing problems such as reduced water quality. However, many toxic anti-fouling coatings contain heavy metals, such as copper, and can pollute the water enabling toxins to enter the fish and accumulate in the human food chain. Also, experience shows that such coatings can degrade in performance after a year, and so the nets require re-treatment, which can be very costly.

This new technology is beginning to cause a stir commercially. It has enabled Micanti to secure a new deal with Cannes Aquaculture in France and has supplied two fully coated cages to one of its sites.

The fish farming enterprise believes that using Thorn- coated, Dyneema® fibre nets will help it reduce operational costs and improve the environment for its fish.

The fish farming enterprise believes that using Thorn- coated, Dyneema® fibre nets will help it reduce operational costs and improve the environment for its fish.

“We are very excited working together with Cannes Aquaculture,” said Daniel Blokmaker, co-founder of Micanti. "The business is looking carefully at improving environmental conditions with respect to anti-fouling and we are happy to contribute towards that goal," he added.

André van Wageningen, Market Segment Manager Commercial Fishing for DSM Dyneema said the collaboration with Micanti would offer fish farmers opportunities to change their businesses and the way they work. "We are happy to contribute to the synergy between both our products," he added.

Micanti provides Thorn-D® coated netting systems on various base materials to the fish farming industry. It is also actively involved in the development of coated foils. For more details visit: