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ACUAMALLA floating cages culture, the most efficient way to raise fish.

ACUAMALLA floating cages culture, the most efficient way to raise fish.

The development of ACUAMALLA® floating cages stems from the growing demand for aquaculture products, trending towards intensive production. ACUAMALLA® floating cages are widely use due to the characteristics of the materials use and the limited investment required.

Fish cages are a simple system consisting of a floating frame, fish containment netting, and moorings designed to absorb the forces generated by wave movement.

These structures allow for the cultivation of a large quantity of fish and can be install in reservoirs, rivers, lakes, or the sea. Cage farming confines the fish but also allows for the free flow of water, meeting the need for a constant supply of clean and oxygenated water.

Economically speaking, cage farming is a low-impact agricultural practice with high yields. In fact, a production estimate of 20-40kg/m3 under normal conditions can be made. Cage farms require limited investment and do not require land surface. Consequently, they represent an ideal farming method for small-scale fishermen as an alternative source of income. For example, it can easily be an activity that a family can carry out.

ACUAMALLA® mesh in floating cage
Floating cages with ACUAMALLA® nets are a simple system for fish farming.

The manufacturing of structures to contain cultivated organisms has evolved significantly.

In 2007, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations published a report titled “Cage Aquaculture: Regional Reviews and Global Overview” (Halwart, Soto, and Arthur, 2007). This report provides an assessment of the situation and future prospects of cage aquaculture worldwide, recognizing its importance and key role for the future growth of the aquaculture sector.

Choosing the Right Type of ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

Cage aquaculture has expanded to new areas of unexploited open water culture, such as lakes, reservoirs, rivers, brackish coastal waters, and high seas. Therefore, cages are design for diverse environments, ranging from relatively protected to highly expose and dynamic sites, either as floating or submerged structures. In fact, four types of fish cages are distinguished, of various shapes and sizes: fixed cages, floating cages, submerged cages, and submersible cages. Environmental factors such as wave exposure, water depth, oxygen levels in the water, and temperature must be consider when implementing cages.

Indeed, there are interactions between cages and the environment in both directions – cages affect the environment, and vice versa. Additionally, one cage can have impacts on other cages because currents can transfer pests, pathogens, and chemicals from one cage to another. A cage netting must withstand wind and waves. Installation in an exposed location will have more hydrodynamics and a lower environmental impact but also higher costs in cages, moorings, nets, and higher maintenance costs.

Advantages of Using ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

  • Practical use in lakes, reservoirs, ponds, ditches, streams, and rivers.
  • Requires a relatively low initial investment for assembly and installation.
  • Simplifies fish collection, observation, and sampling.
  • Allows the use of the pond for sport fishing or cultivation of other species.
  • Requires little labor.
  • Can generate additional income for fishermen and employment opportunities for youth and women.
  • The net requires relatively little maintenance if installed correctly.

Size of ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

It is a fact that costs per unit volume decrease as the cage size increases, within the limits of the materials and construction methods used. Cages have been developed for fish farming with diameters of 6m and 15m. The ideal size for a growth cage is 6m.

floating cages full of fish
Another advantage of the ACUAMALLA® fish culture netting is that it allows a constant flow of clean water.

Polyethylene Meshes in Cages

In the realm of new material development, synthetic fibers play a key role in the aquaculture industry, as they are use to manufacture both nets and ropes for cages. For our ACUAMALLA® floating cages, we use high-performance polyethylene for robustness, reliability, and durability. High-density polyethylene is a type of plastic resin obtain by ethylene gas polymerization. It is an excellent material for cage construction because it is durable, flexible, impact-resistant, UV-resistant, chemically resistant, and therefore highly suitable for use in a marine environment.

Characteristics of Polyethylene Nets for ACUAMALLA® Cages

High-density polyethylene nets are characterize by excellent tear and abrasion resistance and good elasticity. They are often use as bird/predator nets due to their lightweight. The main characteristics of this fiber are reduce elongation and exceptional breaking load compared to other fibers of the same thickness. It also has a smaller thread diameter and is therefore lighter.

Stronger and More Efficient Nets

•ACUAMALLA® is more resistant than other fibers to bites, tears, and other fish.

•Has twice the lifespan of nylon nets.

•The net is a key component in any fish cage system to ensure they are safe and practical. Indeed, having highly reliable net cages is essential.

•This requires attention to several factors, such as mesh material, size, shape and thickness.

•Traditionally, nylon knotted nets were use. Knotted nets have good wear resistance and are relatively easy to repair. However, protruding knots can damage the fish by causing skin abrasion, especially when fish density increases.

•Knotless netting has now almost completely replaced the use of knotted netting in aquaculture cages.

•Ultraviolet radiation causes polymer degradation (depolymerization) and a consequent long-term loss of strength. Our netting includes UV stabilization in the fiber production process.

Mesh for floating cages ACUAMALLA® installed
The ACUAMALLA® net is very resistant and effective.

Mesh Shape for ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

The mesh used for cage farming is available in two different mesh shapes, either square or hexagonal. There are no apparent advantages in using one over the other. It is mainly a matter of preference.

Advantages of Square Mesh

-In case of strong currents, it allows water to pass more easily.

-Greater durability because vertical loads are distributed.

-Easier to repair.

Advantages of Hexagonal Mesh

-Greater elasticity and more adaptability to wave action.

Choosing the Mesh Size

When choosing the mesh size, it is very important to consider the size, shape, and morphological characteristics of the fish species. The larger the fish, the larger the mesh size should be. Also, fish distribution should be consider. If there is a wide variation in size, smaller fish may escape the mesh. In some species, mouth shape and jaw characteristics can cause fish to get trap. A black mesh is recommend because some fish show peculiar behavior in white cages. For example, gilt-head bream bite and wear out white mesh. Indeed, if black meshes get holes, the wear points are less attractive, and fish do not persist in this action.

Cage designs can vary widely, depending on site characteristics, production plans, fish species, and operator experience. The net is cut based on the main structure. For example, in the case of circular floating cages, the net is usually place as a vertical wall, mounted on a net base (the cage floor).

.

The nets can create an inverse cylindrical or truncated cone shape, depending on the size of the base net.

If the base net has the same circumference as at the waterline, then the cage will be roughly cylindrical. If it is smaller, then the shape will be an inverse truncated cone. A cylindrical shape maximizes the volume of the cage, while nets with a truncated cone shape may be more suitable in sites with stronger currents. To prevent fish from escaping, an additional internal mesh can be apply as reinforcement. To further reduce the risk of damaging the mesh, a special sewing technique can be adopt.

fish in ACUAMALLA® netting
The mesh size will depend on the size of the fish.

Additional Treatments – Anti-fouling and UV Protection for Extended Lifespan of ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

Nets can be damage by a series of factors; hence, they need to be check often. For example, they are expose to both static and dynamic forces. More than other components, they may suffer degradation due to biofouling.

Moreover, nets can be damage both by the fish they contain and by surrounding marine fauna, resulting in fish escapes. For greater durability of the cage system with plastic meshes, it is necessary to monitor for abrasion or damage.

Also, they should be checked not to be overly obstructed by biofouling organisms. The nets must be well-install, and the mooring cables in good condition and clean to function correctly. Biofouling caused by macroalgae, bivalves (such as mussels and oysters), corals, sea urchins, sponges, etc., is one of the main management problems in aquaculture. It can represent a serious threat to a cage with meshes if not properly addressed.

.

Biofouling directly or indirectly influences the mesh. It causes direct damage as shells or other hard parts of invertebrates rubbing against nets and ropes have an abrasive effect and cause damage, such as holes in the net or cut ropes.

Indirect damage can be cause by structural failure of nets or ropes due to increase loads on the cage. To prevent biofouling settlement, nets can be treat with antifouling coatings to inhibit the accumulation of marine organisms and thereby reduce the likelihood of damage. Treated nets can be changed less frequently, reducing labor costs.

The antifouling can also extend the life of the net by reducing polymer degradation caused by UV light, and by reducing the wear experienced during cleaning. The net is easier to clean, as fouling organisms are unable to penetrate the mesh fibers. AQUAMALLA does not unravel and this feature minimizes the risk of attracting more fish, causing larger holes.

Mesh Against Predators to Protect Cage Crops

Nets containing fish attract a wide range of predators, including birds (cormorants, seagulls, and other birds of prey), sea lions, and sharks. Cages must be protect against the risk of attacks by predators.

Threat to Fish

The most efficient way to prevent losses caused by birds is to cover the open top of the cage with bird-proof netting. This cover is mounted with ropes or cables along the perimeter of the cage. Additional cross cables can be add for greater stability. The bird netting should be kept out of the water. To achieve this, it must be securely mounted and tensioned on the railing. This is especially important so that fish do not get damage when feeding. It is recommend to remove and reinstall the net against predators when fish are harvest. Special floating supports have been developed to lift the bird net and keep it out of the water. Bird nets can also be keep away from the water using fixed stakes on the struts.

Shark Net

Damage caused by large fish like sharks or seals can be very serious. Submarine predators are often attracted by dead fish found at the bottom of the net. They try to eat these fish by tearing the net and creating gaps through which fish can also escape.

Cages Protected by Bird-Proof Netting

A predator net covering the entire water surface is a solution against marine mammals (e.g., seals and sea lions). Sea lions have the ability to push down and climb up to try to access fish from above.

Fill out the form below to let us know your questions or comments:

The development of ACUAMALLA® floating cages stems from the growing demand for aquaculture products, trending towards intensive production. ACUAMALLA® floating cages are widely use due to the characteristics of the materials use and the limited investment required.

Fish cages are a simple system consisting of a floating frame, fish containment netting, and moorings designed to absorb the forces generated by wave movement.

These structures allow for the cultivation of a large quantity of fish and can be install in reservoirs, rivers, lakes, or the sea. Cage farming confines the fish but also allows for the free flow of water, meeting the need for a constant supply of clean and oxygenated water.

Economically speaking, cage farming is a low-impact agricultural practice with high yields. In fact, a production estimate of 20-40kg/m3 under normal conditions can be made. Cage farms require limited investment and do not require land surface. Consequently, they represent an ideal farming method for small-scale fishermen as an alternative source of income. For example, it can easily be an activity that a family can carry out.

ACUAMALLA® mesh in floating cage
Floating cages with ACUAMALLA® nets are a simple system for fish farming.

The manufacturing of structures to contain cultivated organisms has evolved significantly.

In 2007, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations published a report titled “Cage Aquaculture: Regional Reviews and Global Overview” (Halwart, Soto, and Arthur, 2007). This report provides an assessment of the situation and future prospects of cage aquaculture worldwide, recognizing its importance and key role for the future growth of the aquaculture sector.

Choosing the Right Type of ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

Cage aquaculture has expanded to new areas of unexploited open water culture, such as lakes, reservoirs, rivers, brackish coastal waters, and high seas. Therefore, cages are design for diverse environments, ranging from relatively protected to highly expose and dynamic sites, either as floating or submerged structures. In fact, four types of fish cages are distinguished, of various shapes and sizes: fixed cages, floating cages, submerged cages, and submersible cages. Environmental factors such as wave exposure, water depth, oxygen levels in the water, and temperature must be consider when implementing cages.

Indeed, there are interactions between cages and the environment in both directions – cages affect the environment, and vice versa. Additionally, one cage can have impacts on other cages because currents can transfer pests, pathogens, and chemicals from one cage to another. A cage netting must withstand wind and waves. Installation in an exposed location will have more hydrodynamics and a lower environmental impact but also higher costs in cages, moorings, nets, and higher maintenance costs.

Advantages of Using ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

  • Practical use in lakes, reservoirs, ponds, ditches, streams, and rivers.
  • Requires a relatively low initial investment for assembly and installation.
  • Simplifies fish collection, observation, and sampling.
  • Allows the use of the pond for sport fishing or cultivation of other species.
  • Requires little labor.
  • Can generate additional income for fishermen and employment opportunities for youth and women.
  • The net requires relatively little maintenance if installed correctly.

Size of ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

It is a fact that costs per unit volume decrease as the cage size increases, within the limits of the materials and construction methods used. Cages have been developed for fish farming with diameters of 6m and 15m. The ideal size for a growth cage is 6m.

floating cages full of fish
Another advantage of the ACUAMALLA® fish culture netting is that it allows a constant flow of clean water.

Polyethylene Meshes in Cages

In the realm of new material development, synthetic fibers play a key role in the aquaculture industry, as they are use to manufacture both nets and ropes for cages. For our ACUAMALLA® floating cages, we use high-performance polyethylene for robustness, reliability, and durability. High-density polyethylene is a type of plastic resin obtain by ethylene gas polymerization. It is an excellent material for cage construction because it is durable, flexible, impact-resistant, UV-resistant, chemically resistant, and therefore highly suitable for use in a marine environment.

Characteristics of Polyethylene Nets for ACUAMALLA® Cages

High-density polyethylene nets are characterize by excellent tear and abrasion resistance and good elasticity. They are often use as bird/predator nets due to their lightweight. The main characteristics of this fiber are reduce elongation and exceptional breaking load compared to other fibers of the same thickness. It also has a smaller thread diameter and is therefore lighter.

Stronger and More Efficient Nets

•ACUAMALLA® is more resistant than other fibers to bites, tears, and other fish.

•Has twice the lifespan of nylon nets.

•The net is a key component in any fish cage system to ensure they are safe and practical. Indeed, having highly reliable net cages is essential.

•This requires attention to several factors, such as mesh material, size, shape and thickness.

•Traditionally, nylon knotted nets were use. Knotted nets have good wear resistance and are relatively easy to repair. However, protruding knots can damage the fish by causing skin abrasion, especially when fish density increases.

•Knotless netting has now almost completely replaced the use of knotted netting in aquaculture cages.

•Ultraviolet radiation causes polymer degradation (depolymerization) and a consequent long-term loss of strength. Our netting includes UV stabilization in the fiber production process.

Mesh for floating cages ACUAMALLA® installed
The ACUAMALLA® net is very resistant and effective.

Mesh Shape for ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

The mesh used for cage farming is available in two different mesh shapes, either square or hexagonal. There are no apparent advantages in using one over the other. It is mainly a matter of preference.

Advantages of Square Mesh

-In case of strong currents, it allows water to pass more easily.

-Greater durability because vertical loads are distributed.

-Easier to repair.

Advantages of Hexagonal Mesh

-Greater elasticity and more adaptability to wave action.

Choosing the Mesh Size

When choosing the mesh size, it is very important to consider the size, shape, and morphological characteristics of the fish species. The larger the fish, the larger the mesh size should be. Also, fish distribution should be consider. If there is a wide variation in size, smaller fish may escape the mesh. In some species, mouth shape and jaw characteristics can cause fish to get trap. A black mesh is recommend because some fish show peculiar behavior in white cages. For example, gilt-head bream bite and wear out white mesh. Indeed, if black meshes get holes, the wear points are less attractive, and fish do not persist in this action.

Cage designs can vary widely, depending on site characteristics, production plans, fish species, and operator experience. The net is cut based on the main structure. For example, in the case of circular floating cages, the net is usually place as a vertical wall, mounted on a net base (the cage floor).

.

The nets can create an inverse cylindrical or truncated cone shape, depending on the size of the base net.

If the base net has the same circumference as at the waterline, then the cage will be roughly cylindrical. If it is smaller, then the shape will be an inverse truncated cone. A cylindrical shape maximizes the volume of the cage, while nets with a truncated cone shape may be more suitable in sites with stronger currents. To prevent fish from escaping, an additional internal mesh can be apply as reinforcement. To further reduce the risk of damaging the mesh, a special sewing technique can be adopt.

fish in ACUAMALLA® netting
The mesh size will depend on the size of the fish.

Additional Treatments – Anti-fouling and UV Protection for Extended Lifespan of ACUAMALLA® Floating Cages

Nets can be damage by a series of factors; hence, they need to be check often. For example, they are expose to both static and dynamic forces. More than other components, they may suffer degradation due to biofouling.

Moreover, nets can be damage both by the fish they contain and by surrounding marine fauna, resulting in fish escapes. For greater durability of the cage system with plastic meshes, it is necessary to monitor for abrasion or damage.

Also, they should be checked not to be overly obstructed by biofouling organisms. The nets must be well-install, and the mooring cables in good condition and clean to function correctly. Biofouling caused by macroalgae, bivalves (such as mussels and oysters), corals, sea urchins, sponges, etc., is one of the main management problems in aquaculture. It can represent a serious threat to a cage with meshes if not properly addressed.

.

Biofouling directly or indirectly influences the mesh. It causes direct damage as shells or other hard parts of invertebrates rubbing against nets and ropes have an abrasive effect and cause damage, such as holes in the net or cut ropes.

Indirect damage can be cause by structural failure of nets or ropes due to increase loads on the cage. To prevent biofouling settlement, nets can be treat with antifouling coatings to inhibit the accumulation of marine organisms and thereby reduce the likelihood of damage. Treated nets can be changed less frequently, reducing labor costs.

The antifouling can also extend the life of the net by reducing polymer degradation caused by UV light, and by reducing the wear experienced during cleaning. The net is easier to clean, as fouling organisms are unable to penetrate the mesh fibers. AQUAMALLA does not unravel and this feature minimizes the risk of attracting more fish, causing larger holes.

Mesh Against Predators to Protect Cage Crops

Nets containing fish attract a wide range of predators, including birds (cormorants, seagulls, and other birds of prey), sea lions, and sharks. Cages must be protect against the risk of attacks by predators.

Threat to Fish

The most efficient way to prevent losses caused by birds is to cover the open top of the cage with bird-proof netting. This cover is mounted with ropes or cables along the perimeter of the cage. Additional cross cables can be add for greater stability. The bird netting should be kept out of the water. To achieve this, it must be securely mounted and tensioned on the railing. This is especially important so that fish do not get damage when feeding. It is recommend to remove and reinstall the net against predators when fish are harvest. Special floating supports have been developed to lift the bird net and keep it out of the water. Bird nets can also be keep away from the water using fixed stakes on the struts.

Shark Net

Damage caused by large fish like sharks or seals can be very serious. Submarine predators are often attracted by dead fish found at the bottom of the net. They try to eat these fish by tearing the net and creating gaps through which fish can also escape.

Cages Protected by Bird-Proof Netting

A predator net covering the entire water surface is a solution against marine mammals (e.g., seals and sea lions). Sea lions have the ability to push down and climb up to try to access fish from above.

Fill out the form below to let us know your questions or comments:

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