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At the beginning of May 2024, the Institute of Marine Research collected data from one of the three research rigs in Norskerenna Sør. (Photo: HI)

First measurements from Norskerenna Sør for the development of offshore salmon aquaculture in Norway

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Thursday, May 23, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Has collected important measurement data for the development of aquaculture at sea in Norskerenna South

The first measurement data have now been collected from the rigs that collect environmental data in Norskerenna Sør.

In January 2024, three bottom-anchored rigs were deployed to measure current, CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth), oxygen and temperature in Norskerenna Sør. On 7 May, the Institute of Marine Research extracted the first data from one of the three rigs. The measuring rigs are placed across the Norskerenna at bottom depths of 261 m, 274 m and 283 m.

With aquaculture at sea, the authority and the industry have the opportunity to start with a "blank sheet" in terms of planning production in the areas based on fish welfare, biosecurity, environmental and climate effects, and economically sustainable production. Existing data on dominant current direction indicate a gradual development of Norskerenna south, which takes into account that the dominant current direction in the area is in the north-west direction. An assumption of a low risk of lice spreading more than 15 km in the direction of the current and 10 km across the direction of the current gives the following tentative division of Norskerenna south, as shown in the figure: Development areas in Norskerenna south. Construction stage 1 in red, 2 in green and 3 in yellow. Distances for the area are shown. Source: Stiim Aqua Cluster Report

The measurements in Norskerenna Sør are part of a larger project under the auspices of Blue Planet AS , the University of Stavanger and the Institute of Marine Research . The project will collect environmental data, including wave data and current data from Norskerenna Sør. It strengthens the knowledge base for the development of offshore aquaculture in the area. Ulla-Førrefondet has given 4.4 million in support to the project. The Directorate of Fisheries has allocated 700,000 for measuring equipment.

Measures seasonal variations

"The rigs collect data over the course of an entire year. It gives us a good basis for looking at the seasonal variations in relation to current, waves, temperature and oxygen. The measurements are important for further progress in relation to offshore aquaculture", says project manager Tord Ludvigsen from the University of Stavanger.

The analyzes of the first data are now starting, at the same time as the processing tool for data interpretation is being developed. The rigs are to be out until January 2025. In May 2024, a wave gauge was also installed to log data for the rest of the period. After all the measurements have been completed, a full analysis of the rig data is made.

"The data from the project will have an impact on how the facilities are designed. The analyzes can say something about the fish health challenges you may be facing. The knowledge is, for example, important to be able to assess whether the facilities should be on the surface or submerged, when in the year one must be observant in relation to oxygen conditions and considerations that must be taken in relation to feeding and waves", says researcher Øystein Skagseth at the Institute of Marine Research.

It was the Institute of Marine Research's vessel "GM Dannevig" that collected the data from the first measuring rig at the beginning of May.

Source:  Stiim Aqua Cluster | Translated from original in Norwegian

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