Kiara Vallier | September 7th, 2016
Aqua-Cage Fisheries is an aquaculture farm in Parry Sound, Ontario that produces rainbow trout for the food market. They receive fingerlings from a hatchery in Southern Ontario, grow the fish in the open waters of Georgian Bay and harvest them for a processor that ships to major grocery stores. Aqua-Cage produces environmentally sustainable, high quality fish for the consumer, while bringing in a profit. Last year, Aqua-cage Fisheries acquired a Deep Trekker remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to perform a multitude of jobs around the farm.
Deep Trekker Inc. manufactures completely portable ROVs for underwater inspection purposes in a number of industries. Due to the complete portability, robust design and ease-of-use that Deep Trekker products offer, the aquaculture industry has become the perfect place for the ROVs to operate. Having a tool that farm managers and employees can easily deploy below the surface in less than a minute for inspection and routine tasks has brought about numerous benefits to farms around the globe.
Aqua-Cage Fisheries has been using their Deep Trekker DTG2 ROV for the past year to accomplish subsurface inspections from a safe top-side environment, to inspect the nets for holes, to monitor fish behavior and health, to inspect mooring lines and anchors, and to check cage depths to ensure they are not touching the lake bed.
Aqua-Cage Fisheries does not employ commercial divers to perform underwater inspection work. The ROV performs the necessary tasks while eliminating all of the risks associated with sending a person into the water.
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“Before Deep Trekker we had another company’s unit… two units in fact. We needed two because while one was away for necessary repairs/maintenance, we could not afford down-time and a second unit was essential to get us through that month or two (hoping it didn’t develop issues as well). We’ve only needed one Deep Trekker even though it is less expensive than the other company’s submersible.” Kana Upton from Aqua-Cage Fisheries explained when asked about how they went about performing tasks before they had a Deep Trekker ROV.
When asked to comment further on the difference between their current Deep Trekker DTG2 ROV and their previous units, Aqua-Cage Fisheries explained that the fact that the DTG2 has batteries housed within the submersible unit is a major plus for them. They state that it cuts down the set-up time and reduces the equipment required to run the unit. “With the other units we had, I would need to bring an inverter/generator, fuel, a TV (as the screen was too small), an extension cord, the unit’s box, the controller box, and all necessary connection cables. With the Deep Trekker I wheel one box around. The unit requires maybe 20 seconds to get in the water. The best part for me is not having the constant sounds and exhaust fumes from the generator. The Deep Trekker is completely silent top-side. Plus it's fast in the water! Really fast!” says Kana.
The fact that Deep Trekker ROVs are entirely portable is widely appreciated in the aquaculture industry. Even though farms may be quite large in size, the DTG2 ROV is the perfect option for performing multiple underwater inspections at several locations. Deep Trekker's on-board batteries completely eliminate the risk of generator fuel leaks and spillage that can be detrimental to any farm. Deep Trekker also offers a number of add-ons and accessories that can improve the unit to suit specific jobs and tasks. Aqua-Cage Fisheries recently upgraded their ROV to include a side facing auxiliary camera that will make net inspections with the ROV even easier.
“I can’t say enough about the customer service we have received. Having the owner of the company make visits to demo, and again to try out new features has been invaluable. They work diligently to solve industry problems and come up with effective solutions. Deep Trekker is an obvious addition to any underwater work. It’s cheaper, safer and often more functional than divers, and it’s cheaper, more dependable, better service and more functional than the competitor” expressed Kana and Gord Cole, co-owner of Aqua-Cage Fisheries.Aqua-Cage Fisheries will continue to utilize their DTG2 ROV to perform all sub-surface inspections on the farm and monitor the fish stock.
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