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Happy fish have few problems

Salmon smolt are produced in tanks on land before they are transferred to sea-cages. An EU water directive sets out standards for sources of water, which focuses on water quality and fish welfare. Providing the conditions for a good “childhood” is vital for the subsequent growth and survival of the fish.

This offers a challenge to technology and equipment design, and we are developing technical solutions to help the aquaculture industry to advance.

Small fish farms will probably be gradually displaced by larger units, which will move to the best sources of water. Smolt tanks are also getting bigger, and it will be vital to ensure that water quality is identical throughout the tank. Water entering a tank is passed through an aeration system that stops unhealthy gases from reaching the fish.

We have found that aeration efficiency is extremely variable, and have shown that choosing the right type of tank and aeration system has a decisive effect on water quality and fish stress.

Since a happy fish is a healthy fish, we are trying to identify the optimal environment for smolt. We are benefitting from SINTEF’s multi-phase expertise in flow analysis, since what happens in a tank is similar to the flow of oil and gas in a pipe, and potentially useful numerical tools already exist.