Novel Salmon-Treatment Vessel Cleans Up Fish Farm Operations

Courtesy Asenav

Published Jun 28, 2021 7:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

Chilean shipbuilder Asenav has delivered a novel vessel that is equipped to remove sea lice from farmed salmon without releasing pesticides into the marine environment. 

The new service vessel Owurkan is the first in the world to use this specific technology for sea lice treatment. Sea lice are the largest operational problem for the farmed-salmon industry: in the confines of a salmon pen, an infestation can become so severe that it kills fish. 
The Owurkan is the product of more than six years of research and development. The vessel's owner and operator, Salmoclinic, has developed a proprietary continuous bath process that allows the controlled use of any medicinal product authorized for application in fish, without affecting the environment. By means of a degradation process that removes residual organic compounds, the system prevents the medications from entering the sea. 

"The objective of this vessel is to carry out specialized treatments through baths to salmon to control different diseases, and thereby reduce the use of pesticides or anti-parasites that are used massively today without adequate control regarding the environment," said Hans Kossmann, the founder of Salmoclinic. "This ship comes to change the concept of how to use the therapeutic agents in the control of diseases in salmon."

To carry out its mission, the vessel is also fitted with a large reverse osmosis plant to make up to 125 cubic meters per hour of fresh water (used for treating salmon for amoeba infestations). It has a helix treatment tank of 300 cubic meters in size and a continuous filtration system to remove lice from the bath. 

The Owurkan will operate primarily in Chile's X and XI salmon-farming regions, depending upon where its services are needed most.