The need to extend and diversify the Norwegian aquaculture industry and a growing demand to store live seafood has led to the development of a flat-bottom net cage. This technology has improved the first hand value of seafood and motivates a better utilisation of coastal resources. It provides practical working conditions for the emerging cod farming in Norway, based on storage of wild cod.
An aluminium frame covered with a taut net supports the bottom of a traditional net. The bottom area is 180 m² and the frame consists of 12 pipes connected with 12 bends. The depth of the bottom is altered pneumatically through inflating a central positioned cylinder. The bottom is kept horizontally at all times and elastic ropes eliminate vertical movement.
About 10 tons of fish can be stored or raised in each cage. The rigid, but elastic construction enabled the caretakers to inspect the fish by waders. The cage is now in use in several areas, a.o. receiving newly caught wild cod, where a flat bottom is required for proper restoration and acclimation prior to transfer to traditional net cages.
It can also be used for intermediate storage of fish before slaughter. The cage being operated by compressed air, eliminates most of the hard labour in today's sea-based aquaculture.
The cage is developed in cooperation with REFA, one of Norway's leading producers of equipment for sea based aquaculture and fishing gear.