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Aqualife has developed a semi-automatic vaccination system. Photo: Aqualife.
Aqualife has developed a semi-automatic vaccination system. Photo: Aqualife.

Stirling-based vaccination specialist Aqualife Services has begun using award-winning compressor technology to reduce stress on fish and create a more pleasant environment for workers.

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The company is the first to take advantage of an offer by Edinburgh compressor manufacturer Vert Technologies, which if offering reduced-rate rental to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Kristian Clezy, Aqualife’s head of engineering, said: “We needed a source of compact, quiet, low- vibration air to reduce stress on fish during the vaccination procedure and to help create a pleasant working environment for the operators of our new semi-automatic fish vaccination solution.

“We first saw the A150 compressor in action at Vert’s Stirling University Innovation Park roadshow event in February and were impressed by the low noise and vibration of the compressor, as well as its ability to run continuously with a 100% duty cycle.  

“Vert’s loan offer has allowed us to continue to focus on new product development which otherwise may have slowed as we come out of lockdown, so we are grateful for its commercial support through these tricky times.”

Vert's A150 compressor produces less noise and vibration, thus reducing stress on fish. Photo: Vert.
Vert's A150 compressor produces less noise and vibration, thus reducing stress on fish. Photo: Vert.

Open to discussions

Vert chief executive Phil Harris said in a press release: “We are in the happy position of having the capacity to hire out a small number of compressors to SMEs which, like Aqualife, need to kick-start their businesses without having to incur fresh capital expenditure.

“'We are happy to support other SMEs with our compressors over the next few months to help keep their business working. We are flexible and open to discussions as to how we can play our part.”

800 million fish

Aqualife is the world’s largest fish vaccine delivery company and has bases in Scotland and Norway. It has vaccinated more than 800 million fish since 1996. The company also offers training courses and a variety of fish care and handling services.

In January it was announced that Aqualife had been granted £250,000 from the Seafood Innovation Council to develop its mobile Incubot 2 fish vaccinating robot.

The machine will be able to vaccinate fish at sizes below 20 grams, as opposed to the common weight of between 30g and 120g, allowing producers to increase productivity by growing their fish out of hatcheries far sooner. It will be capable of vaccinating most species of farmed fish, in large numbers.

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