The Plany Freshwater Reservoir provides a reliable supply of fresh water for delousing and other treatments at fish farms at sea. “Our solution helps farmed fish producers to combat disease in an effective, sustainable way,” says Gunhild Jørgensen Ramstad, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Plany.
Amoebic gill disease and sea lice are two of the most significant diseases facing the salmon aquaculture industry, causing illness and even mortality in fish as well as major economic losses for fish farmers. Although the diseases are caused by different parasites, both respond to freshwater treatment.
However, using wellboats to transport fresh water from land to fish farms at sea is resource-intensive, time-consuming and generates significant emissions. Having fresh water available in proximity to the treatment location is more environmentally and economically sustainable.
The Plany Freshwater Reservoir provides fish farmers with easy access to fresh water for delousing and treatment of amoebic gill disease (AGD). The reservoir is located close to the shore, often near land-based smolt hatcheries, with fresh water pumped from an onshore source, such as a river.
When fish farmers need fresh water for delousing or treatment of AGD, they fill up their service boats.
“Fresh water is an effective and gentle way to fight AGD and sea lice. Our solution makes this method easy and financially viable for fish producers,” says Jørgensen Ramstad.
To treat AGD, the fish are simply bathed in the fresh water for several hours. For delousing, fish farmers may use different types of freshwater solutions on board their service boats. The longer the fish are immersed in fresh water, the easier it is to brush off the lice.
The Plany Freshwater Reservoir is made of abrasion-resistant fabric, and the reservoir will last 10 years in a protected environment. Each reservoir is adapted to customer needs, depending on the currents, waves and general weather conditions around the fish farm.
The Plany Freshwater Reservoir was developed in close collaboration with Mowi Norway. “Mowi asked us if it was possible to make a reservoir to obtain large amounts of water at sea, and together we developed this solution,” says Jørgensen Ramstad.
The reservoir improves efficiency and reduces operating costs on fish farms. Halvard Bjørdalsbakke Saure, coordinator for non-medicinal treatments at Mowi, explains:
“The reservoir provides a quick, efficient way to fetch fresh water. If we have to get fresh water from a harbour, for example, it takes much longer. The difference is one hour versus 20 hours. The reservoir saves us a lot of time and money.”
Use of the reservoir can also cut emissions considerably, with wellboats making fewer trips to transport fresh water.
Concerns about sustainability are increasing along with the rapid growth of the aquaculture industry. The UN, the EU and governments have set guidelines related to fish welfare, and more consumers are demanding ethically produced food.
“We are seeing a general trend in aquaculture towards natural treatments. Our Freshwater Reservoir can help fish producers to meet sustainability targets,” says Jørgensen Ramstad.
Introduced in 2014, the Plany Freshwater Reservoir is currently in use in Croatia, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and the UK. Now the company is seeking to expand into other aquaculture markets, particularly Canada and Chile.