iven that supply of naturalresources in the oceans isunder increasing pressure,the marine aquacultureindustry is growing and looks set toovertake traditional fishing industryas a major source of edible seafood.
In Europe, Asia and Latin America theemphasis is on transforming the currentindustry into a sustainable industry.In fact, China has become the onlycountry in the world whose aquacultureproduction volume exceeds that from tra-ditional fishing. The country’s annual outputfor aquaculture constitutes as much as 20percent of global production output.However, owning to constraints placedby out-of-date aquaculture technologies andfacilities, as well as a series of unfavorable nat-ural environmental conditions, China’s marineaquaculture faces challenges with respect toensuring the adequate supply of healthy andhigh-quality aquaculture products.Given this background, InternationalCopper Association China (ICA) andthe European Copper Institute (ECI) areintroducing copper alloy mesh into China,and respectively Europe, following its greatsuccess in introducing the new technologyinto Chile Salmon farming to contribute tothe sustainable development of the worldmarine aquaculture.
The blue revolution
In China, a trial targets improving theprofessional standards of China’s agriculturaltechnology and fostering a ‘Blue Revolution’for Chinese food production, through meet-ing Chinese’s growing needs for protein.This trial kicked off through a partner-ship with the East China Sea FisheriesResearch Institute, a subsidiary organizationof Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences andICA. They jointly embarked on a researchproject, evaluating the effectiveness andpotential to introduce copper alloy meshinto China’s marine aquaculture, as well asexploring innovations to adapt this technol-ogy to the marine environment of China.During the past two years, this projecthas initiated a series of R&D efforts,focusing on verification, design, productionand trial run of copper alloy mesh cagestailor made for Chinese local marineenvironment.To-date 10 pilot cages have been suc-cessfully placed in Dalian, Weihai, Taizhouand Fangchenggang for testing and on-goingresearch. The types of fish bred in thesecages include large yellow croaker, black rockfish, bass and greenling, etc.Along with this trial, ICA and ECI alsorolled out a series of promotional activities,to educate Chinese and European stake-holders and audiences on the benefits of adopting copper alloy mesh."It’s an exciting time for this provenproduct, we are seeing increasing inter-est in copper alloy cages resulting insignificant sales in several parts of theworld and important trials in areas wherewe are rolling out the experience” saysNigel Cotton of ECI. “Forward thinkingcompanies see the need for consolidationof their resources to gain efficiencies,leading to larger cages, the need for bet-ter security from predicators, escapes andbetter stock keeping”
In September of 2011,International Copper Association(ICA) joined efforts withthe East China Sea FisheriesResearch Institute (ECSFRI), todemonstrate the significantoutcome of introducing copperalloy mesh into China’s marineaquaculture through theirpartnership at the Fuzhou StraitFishery Expo, one of the mostinfluential fishery trade eventsin China
Copper alloy mesh cage sustaining theworld’s marine aquaculture
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In August 2011, ECI presented the cop-per alloy cage solution at AquaNor andpresented a trial case deployed in Turkeyover the summer. In September of 2011,ICA joined efforts with the East China SeaFisheries Research Institute to demonstratethe significant outcome of the their trialproject at the 11th Five-year NationalFishery Technological Innovation Exhibition,a major activity of the Strait Fishery Expo,one of the most influential fishery tradeevent in China.These activities significantly raisedawareness of copper alloy mesh in themarine aquaculture industry, which openedup a favorable condition for further explor-ing the potential of this technology inEurope and China.
Copper alloy mesh technology began in 1975 withsmall salmon farming enclosures in Northeastern USA.Since then, alloy technology has evolved and now isbeing successfully used in Japan, Australia and Chile,providing productive and sustainable solutions for fishfarmers. Development of future applications and trialsof improved copper alloy materials, mesh forms, andaquaculture system configurations are underway with avariety of species in China, Korea, Panama, Turkey, SouthAfrica, and the United States.“Copper alloy mesh cages have improved the sanitaryconditions, productivity and sustainability of operationsfor aquaculture farmers raising salmon, trout andmany other species for years,” said Nigel Cotton of theEuropean Copper Institute.
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The European Copper Institute (ECI)attended AquaNor 2011, in Trondheim,Norway. ECI demonstrated copperalloys for use in both near and off-shore marine aquaculture enclosuresat Booth C-226, “Copper Alloys inMarine Aquaculture: IncreasingProductivity, Sustaining the Future”.The exhibit highlighted the useof various forms of copper alloysand provided scientific evidencethat copper alloys nets in marineaquaculture help improve fish healthand production, prevent predatorattacks and escapes, maintain cagevolumes and minimize maintenancecosts and efforts.
Irina DumitrescuEuropean Copper Institute Avenue de Tervueren 168 - box 10Brussels, B-1150 Belgium
Tel: +32 2 7777082Email:
Website: www.eurocopper.org Website: www.aquaculture.org