SSF is using a new aeration system to rid pens of harmful plankton Photo: Scottish Sea FarmsSSF is using a new aeration system to rid pens of harmful plankton Photo: Scottish Sea Farms

Scottish Sea Farms is trialling a new greener aeration system to protect its salmon from potentially harmful plankton, a major threat to the health and welfare of farmed fish worldwide.

The Flowpressor system, designed by Poseidon Ocean Systems, combines a specially engineered compressor with main distribution line and tripod diffusers to move water with lower phytoplankton and higher oxygen level upwards, improving the environment within the pens.

“Flowpressor effectively draws ‘clean’ water from depth of the pen – in other words, well away the planktonic surface layers – and distributes it upwards, improving water quality throughout the whole pen,” explained Innes Weir, Scottish Sea Farms regional production manager for mainland.

“It also comes with the additional option of ‘bubble curtains’ which create a barrier to plankton and other biological challenges such as jellyfish infestations, significantly reducing the concentration of these potentially harmful organisms within open pen systems,” he added.

The pilot, which starts this month, will see six of the trial farm’s 12 pens connected to the Flowpressor and the remaining six pens served by a standard compressor. The system can be set to run round-the-clock for routine water quality improvement then moved to protection mode as required and has been shown to be 56% more fuel efficient than standard systems.

Flowpressor is already in operation along Canada’s west coast, with farmers reporting a 50-60% reduction in algae inside the pen, improved fish survival and improved growth.

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