Aqua Tromoy is Canada's largest wellboat. Image: Mowi Canada West.

'Cutting-edge' wellboat makes a splash in BC

The biggest and most technologically advanced wellboat in Canadian aquaculture history has sailed into British Columbia waters.

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Mowi Canada West will use the Aqua Tromoy, which is 77 metres long with a breadth of 15 metres. 

“This wellboat is on the cutting edge of aquaculture technology and is a crucially important tool in our integrated pest management strategy allowing treatment with both freshwater bath and hydrogen peroxide, two sea lice treatment methods encouraged by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council,” said Mowi Canada West managing director Diane Morrison.

Aqua Tromoy dramatically enhances Mowi Canada West’s ability to proactively manage our fish health in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Aqua Tromoy exemplifies Mowi’s commitment to world-leading sustainable practices for salmon aquaculture in British Columbia. Having a vessel with triple the capacity to our current largest vessel will be a game-changer for our business.”

Reverse osmosis

The wells can carry 3,000 cubic metres of water. This is equal to the daily fresh water use of 13,000 Canadians. The water in the tanks can be completely exchanged in 7.5 minutes. 

The vessel has the capacity to create fresh water from sea water reverse osmosis, generating up to 6,000 m³ of fresh water in 24 hours. Fish can be lifted from farm pens and immersed in fresh water baths in the vessel’s wells. 

“Atlantic salmon are not harmed by fresh water immersion, but sea lice and other salt water parasites cannot tolerate fresh water well. They fall off the fish and are captured by the vessel’s filtration system,” said a Mowi Canada West statement.

“The vessel has cutting edge on-board water treatment process ability including oxygen generation, carbon dioxide (CO₂) stripping, and ozone and UV treatment.

Water quality

“Water quality systems measure pH, salinity, temperature, oxygen, and CO₂. CO₂ strippers continuously remove CO₂ from the water, with the ability to treat the well's entire 3,000 m³ capacity twice in one hour. Oxygen can be injected into the water when running in closed-circulation mode.”

Aqua Tromoy is powered by four diesel generators. “The advanced IMO Tier III engines uses urea to reduce nitrogen oxide pollutants in exhaust gases,” stated Mowi. The vessel will have nine crew members living on board during each shift cycle. 

Aqua Tromoy was built in Europe by Arctic Shipping and delivered to DESS Aquaculture Shipping, in which Mowi owns a 50% stake.

Mowi Canada West employs 600 people in its British Columbia salmon farms and processing plants, and produces 45,000 gutted weight tonnes of Atlantic salmon each year.