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Improving cleaner fish welfare for sustainable fish farming

The SeaNest allows cleaner fish to hide and rest. This improves their living conditions as well as their capacity to remove sea lice.

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Cleaner fish feed on sea lice living on farmed salmon, making them a much sought-after, non-medicinal solution to this parasite problem.

Because cleaner fish and production salmon have different needs when it comes to the environment in which they live, 50 million cleaner fish die each year at Norwegian fish farms alone. This is a concern to environmentalists and government agencies alike. Norwegian authorities have announced a tightening of the use of cleaner fish unless their living conditions improve.

Cleaner fish hide improves fish welfare and delousing efficiency

Cleaner fish usually live in shallow water, where they can hide and rest among seaweed and kelp. The SeaNest solution from Estro is designed to simulate the natural habitat of the lumpfish, a species commonly used as cleaner fish.

Fish farmers can easily deploy the SeaNest, which expands into the fish cage like an underwater pleated curtain. Here, it provides shelter and many smooth surfaces to which the lumpfish can attach themselves, rest and hide. This helps to improve the well-being of the cleaner fish and make them more efficient at removing sea lice. This in turn reduces the need for other delousing solutions.

Concrete benefits

The patented SeaNest product is made mainly of food-grade high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyoxymethylene (POM). It has no loose plastic parts and does not release microparticles into the sea. The SeaNest swivels and follows the current, making it particularly suitable for areas with strong ocean currents.

Fish farm operators can easily clean the SeaNest using tools available on a work boat or fish farming site, typically high-pressure cleaners. The SeaNest is durable and generally lasts for several seasons. When necessary, Estro provides repair and overhaul services. Parts that have been removed and replaced are recycled into new plastic products.

Market potential

The global salmon market achieved a volume of 3.7 million metric tons in 2018 and is projected to reach 4.7 million metric tons by 2024. There is promising potential for growth in Norway, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of the global supply of salmon, as well as internationally.

Currently, the primary target markets for the SeaNest are Iceland, Norway and Scotland, but the solution is attracting interest from other salmon producing countries as well. Because the SeaNest is compact, it can be easily shipped around the globe.

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Company

Logo ESTRO AS
ESTRO AS

Storebotn Næringspark 38, 5309 KLEPPESTØ, Norway

estro.no

At a glance

  • Retractable, artificial natural habitat for cleaner fish

  • Easy to deploy, remove and clean

  • 10 m when extended, retracts to 45 cm for easy storage

Status

Available

Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals