Award winning technology from BC aquaculture company will protect Scottish salmon from potentially harmful plankton
Aquaculture technology company, Poseidon Ocean Systems is all set to make waves in Oban, the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’.
Scottish Sea Farms, one of UK’s leading salmon farming companies, has announced it will begin trials of Poseidon’s greener aeration system, Flowpressor, to protect its salmon from potentially harmful plankton, a major threat to the health and welfare of farmed fish worldwide.
Aeration – the process of pumping air into salmon pens to boost water movement and, in turn, water quality – is one of several protective measures taken by salmon farmers when rising levels of plankton are detected during daily water monitoring.
“The materials are just landing right now,” said Heather Clarke, the co-founder of Poseidon Ocean Systems Ltd. based in Campbell River, BC.
Poseidon’s Flowpressor is an innovative compressor system designed specifically for use within the aquaculture industry, which has demonstrated sharp reductions in energy consumption for off-grid fish farming systems.
Flowpressor was designed to improve water quality and fish welfare while reducing diesel fuel consumption by nearly 60%. Paired with Poseidon’s IOT firmware, the system offers farmers significant additional operational advancements, the company said.
The system is already in operation along Canada’s west coast, with salmon farmers reporting a 50-60% reduction in algae inside the pen, improved fish survival and improved growth due to fewer lost feeding days.
Innes Weir, Scottish Sea Farms Regional Production Manager, said: ‘Flowpressor effectively draws ‘clean’ water from depth of the pen – in other words, well away from the planktonic surface layers – and distributes it upwards, improving water quality throughout the whole pen.
‘It also comes with the additional option of ‘bubble curtains’ which create a barrier to plankton and other biological challenges such as jellyfish infestations, significantly reducing the concentration of these potentially harmful organisms within open pen systems.’
The pilot, which will start this month, will see six of the trial farm’s 12 pens near Oban connected to the Flowpressor and the remaining six pens served by a standard compressor.
Scottish Sea Farms has also achieved a first in farmed fish health, with no antibiotics used in any of its farming operations in 2020.
Matt Clarke, co-founder of Poseidon Ocean Systems, said: ‘Not only is Flowpressor more effective at protecting farmed fish health than standard systems, it’s also 56% more fuel efficient, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 700 tonnes for each unit installed. That’s the equivalent of taking 150 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
“Designed for longevity, the system also has an operating life estimated to be three times that of other options on the market, further reducing its carbon, water and waste footprints.”
Poseidon’s Flowpressor is now being actively marketed here in Canada, as well as in the UK, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. The company plans to open an office in Chile in the next quarter.
Earlier this month, Poseidon, was awarded $150,000 by Innovate BC at the inaugural Aquaculture Innovation Awards in BC.
Its Flowpressor technology was one of three BC aquaculture innovations recognised as encouraging sustainable growth, competitiveness and adaptability of BC aquaculture.
The other award recipients were ThisFish and Industrial Plankton.
ThisFish’s traceability software for the aquaculture sector enables significant improvements in time and quality through automation and predictive analytics. It links data from farm to factory through IoT devices and tablet computers and uses machine learning algorithms.
Industrial Plankton, which got the $25,000 fan favourite award develops and produces algae bioreactors for live feed production in aquaculture hatcheries. Their technology is currently used in 20 countries, primarily in shellfish and shrimp hatcheries.
“B.C. is a leader in both developing innovative seafood technology and production, and we’re showcasing those local ideas and solutions through our new BC Aquaculture Innovation Awards,” said Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture in BC.
“By fostering new and exciting partnerships between our aquaculture and technology sectors we are providing economic opportunities while strengthening both our food system and clean technology for future generations,” he said.
Ravi Kahlon, BC”s Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation said these awards are an important opportunity to recognize excellence in innovation in B.C.’s aquaculture sector.
(A salmon farm near Oban in Scotland. Image courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms)