Innovation in Aquaculture

Sustainability

The use of copper alloy mesh for fish farming has proven to be a much more environmentally sound practice than the use of nylon or other kinds of mesh material. This can be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Copper naturally suppresses fouling, which eliminates the need to use toxic anti-fouling chemicals to keep the mesh clean;
  2. The reduction in fouling significantly reduces labor hours, equipment fees, environmental impact, and other expenses related to net maintenance;
  3. Copper nets have a considerably longer service life than standard nylon nets thereby reducing the impact and expense of replacing nets frequently;
  4. Copper is 100% recyclable – once the nets have reached the end of their service life, the mesh is recycled to produce new mesh nets;
  5. The strength of copper nets eliminates the need for anti-predator nets;
  6. Copper nets markedly reduce the probability of fish escapes;
  7. Parasites, bacteria, and viruses do not attach to copper mesh which means that the fish are naturally more healthy and require far fewer therapeutants (medicines);
  8. Copper alloy mesh nets are compatible with ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certification;
  9. Using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, copper nets demonstrate a clear environmental advantage over nylon mesh.

In addition to the benefits above, fish are healthier and more comfortable in copper mesh pens for a number of reasons.  The weight of copper mesh is heavy which results in the pens maintaining their shape and volume vs. high-drag nylon nets which are continuously changing with currents and weather. A consistent shape and large inner surface results in better water flow, higher dissolved oxygen levels, reduced crowding and decreased stresses on the fish. Healthier fish naturally require less feeding, grow faster and require fewer, if any, antibiotics.

Fish raised in copper nets are not subjected to the stresses of standard anti-fouling maintenance which involves loud machinery and results in resuspended fouling material that adversely affects the fish gills.

EcoSea’s nets have been rigorously tested and perform optimally in both rough sea conditions, including high waves and strong currents, and calm, protected inlets.

Regarding the possible release of copper into the surrounding environment, several studies have demonstrated that the amount of copper released is negligible and has little to no affect on the fish nor the surrounding ecosystem. Unlike other heavy metals, such as lead, the amount of copper released into the water column or sediment from the nets over an 8 year period, was so small that it was not even possible to be measured. Studies on this have been undertaken in Canada, Chile, Norway, and Japan and all came back with the same results.

Research & Development

EcoSea was born as an R&D company in 2008 thanks to grants obtained from the Chilean government. From the beginning, our mission has had a strong applied science focus which is supported by a leading international team of academics and scientists. Since our founding, we have been a leader of innovation; EcoSea’s technology is rapidly garnering attention globally as a first-rate option.

EcoSea is currently leading several R&D projects that focus on enabling Seriola aquaculture in offshore areas in different part of the world. We are in the process of developing new cages with submersion mechanisms to avoid extreme weather conditions and tsunamis. In conjunction with our clients, we are also developing important growth and production indicators to improve performance and make our cages even better. In Chile, EcoSea is working in conjunction with the government to identify new offshore locations that could be used for fish farming.

In the salmon industry, we have created competitive solutions that are both economically beneficial for our clients and help them meet and exceed the expectations of regulatory agencies, conservation groups, and concerned seafood consumers. EcoSea’s proven technology requires the use of fewer chemicals, fewer man-hours, and creates less pollution than that of our competitors.

Today, our main focus is to lead the offshore aquaculture revolution and enable a sustainable fish production that meets the growing global demand. We have installed systems in Norway, Chile, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

We are working in conjunction with multiple innovative organizations and prestigious international research institutes to make further improvements to our products. Collaboration in Research and Development is always welcome and we encourage you to contact us with any questions or regarding potential collaboration opportunities.