Technology developed for the marine energy industry may help salmon farmers operate in more remote locations and reduce their environmental impact, according to the partners in an innovative research project.
Tidal energy firm Sustainable Marine Energy (SME), Dundee University, Inverness-based marine equipment supplier Gael Force Group and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) have been exploring the development of a “groutless” anchoring approach, derived from techniques used in the renewables sector.
Focused on reducing the cost, weight and environmental impact of mooring fish farm infrastructure, the new method uses lighter gear which “locks” on to the seabed without the need for resin or grout.
The initial testing phase has completed and the research consortium says results will allow it to accurately predict loads and capacity the new “rock anchors” can bear in further field trials. The findings should also allow Edinburgh and Canada-based SME to reduce the amount of material required to manufacture the anchors, leading to a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly product.
An aquaculture partner is being sought to trial the new anchors at a fish farm, as a tep towards full-scale deployment.
SAIC chief executive Heather Jones sad: “A new approach to anchoring could be a significant development for aquaculture in Scotland and the progress made on the project so far is very encouraging.”