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Seaeye Falcon for Aquaculture Support

Seaeye Falcon for Aquaculture Support

The powerful, portable and versatile Seaeye Falcon Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is demonstrating its ability to support cleaning and maintenance of deep nets in the aquaculture industry.

Many aquaculture operators have the need to clean and maintain nets so that they can remain in place for longer periods. These larger nets, some of which are up to 25 metres deep, may have to be inspected at least twice a week for holes or damage. Additionally, there is the need to inspect and remove dead fish (morts) to ensure the health of the fish stock.

Larger nets combined with in-water cleaning techniques result in increased fish stocks and reduced operating costs for owners.

The Falcon has been used to pioneer in-water net cleaning techniques that allow large nets to remain in place without replacement for extended periods. Historically this inspection and mort removal has been done by divers, but when there are a large number of nets to maintain the use of a Seaeye Falcon ROV has become a more efficient and economic alternative for these routine tasks. Divers can then be utlised more efficiently for providing the cleaning and repair services. Reduced use of divers for routine tasks results in less risk to occupational health and safety.

Morts can be removed using a Falcon ROV fitted with an 8-inch suction hose capable of moving 1 tonne of small fish per minute. To maneuver this hose underwater requires a very capable ROV which must at the same time be portable and able to be handled by a two man crew. The Falcon manipulator is used to hold the suction hose while the pilot guides the vehicle to suck up the morts. As soon as all of the morts have been collected from a net, the suction hose is released from the manipulator and recovered for deployment into the next net while the Falcon carries out the video survey for holes and damage.

In an alternative application of the Falcon’s power and maneuverable control system a ‘mort scoop’ can be fitted for recovering large fish. This enables rapid scooping and collection of morts from fish net floors for removal from the net. The power of the Falcon enables an 8.5kg payload of fish to be collected with each scoop and returned to the surface with precise control.

 Fish farming in Australia with a successful prototype mort removal scoop


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