Sanford is embarking on the new fishing and financial year beginning in October with a new NZ$5.7m feed barge, specially made for its salmon farming operations in Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island.
The barge named San Hāmana (hāmana means ‘salmon’ in te reo) was ordered to design from a specialist marine construction company in Hobart, Australia where it took nine months to build.
General manager of aquaculture, Ted Culley, said that the barge is part of Sanford’s strategic plan to enhance operations on the salmon farm. “This new barge is an asset upgrade and replaces the Kiwa, our existing 1960s-built barge, which will be retired and towed back to Bluff to be scrapped. With the amount of growth at Stewart Island, the new barge also assists Sanford’s vision to expand further out to sea in Southland.”
The 27.8m barge has four silos that can hold a total of 200 tonnes of fish food, and a computer system that automatically puts the feed through pipes into the fish pens. The latest technology equipment, including underwater cameras, keeps watch on the salmon and provides a variety of data such as feed allocations and water conditions.
“Stewart Island is a pristine environment and is home to clean water, untouched nature, and beautiful King Salmon,” said Ted Culley. “Controlling our feed output using the latest technology helps us preserve that perfect environment we are so lucky and grateful to be working in.”