David Cunningham (Left) and Stewart Graham (R) sign an MoU.

Gael Force Group moves ahead with semi-closed containment

Gael Force Group has taken a substantial step forward in its plans to deliver their semi-closed containment solution for the aquaculture sector in 2024.

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SeaQureFarm is said to have the potential to unlock global ambition for a greener, carbon-friendly, and more efficient way of producing healthy nutritious food protein through improving the sustainability of farming of the seas. It is designed to deliver improved fish health, reduced predation, prevent seabed depositions and reduce egg-to-plate emissions while enabling on-farm circular economies and turning a waste problem into an energy solution.

As an integral part of SeaQureFarm™, the SeaQureWell™ is an arrangement where seawater is pumped and pushed into a floating enclosed “well” with its floating collar at the sea surface. The collar supports the Well and its pumping arrangements which lifts deeper coastal water into the well creating an in-well temperature profile that is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The SeaQureWell will be constructed of engineered high-quality composite membrane material, cut, and welded to form the ‘Well, with structural floatation at the surface and a rigid sub-surface service and support structure. It aims to provide and maintain a secure controlled environment to safeguard healthy growing fish against external environmental threats to the fish from sea lice, gill amoeba, jellyfish and algae bloom as well as protect against sea mammal predation. Additionally, faecal depositions along with any uneaten food will also be captured in the ‘Well’ for on-site recovery and reduction for reuse.

The Scottish technology and equipment manufacturer has been researching and developing its concept for several years. Last year it commissioned aquaculture expert, Knut Senstad, to deliver a highly detailed business case for the concept, revealing key economic, health, and environmental savings in a range of farming scenarios.

Partnering with Gael Force on the production of the prototype is Northern Ireland based Cunningham Covers, known for their expertise and large factory capacity in the manufacturing of clever protective covers and containment products from high-tech, high-strength flexible materials.

Gael Force Group Managing Director, Stewart Graham, commented:

“By announcing this next major step forward in the development of SeaQureFarm™ we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the continual improvement of a greener, carbon-friendly way to sustainably produce a healthy, nutritious food protein. We share the sector’s ambition of minimising environmental footprint and moving closer to a goal of achieving net zero. In partnership with Cunningham Covers, supported by Serge Ferrari as our specialised material supply partner, I am extremely confident that our collective experience and expertise will enable us to move the dial considerably towards that target.”

Cunningham Covers Managing Director, David Cunningham, commented:

“We are delighted to be a long-term partner with Gael Force in this project. Our two companies share core values and ethos, as well as a long-term ambition to grow our presence together in the semi-closed containment fish farming sector, combining the considerable and complementary strengths of both companies”.

Gael Force is aiming to produce a working prototype of SeaQureWell™ in 2024. They have stated that it is immediately open to partnering with finfish producers in Scotland to trial a project next year and is welcoming approaches from customers.