We recently spoke to Sverre Føyen, Site Manager of Erko Seafood’s Hardanger locations. Sverre and his team use their Deep Trekker underwater ROV around their salmon farms for numerous tasks from inspection to observation to retrieval.
Erko Seafood is a Norweigan Seafood producer headquartered in Bergen, Norway. As site manager of the Hardanger sites, Sverre Føyen oversees 3 of Erko’s 10 salmon producing fish farms.
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There are numerous ways that Sverre and his team use their underwater robot in many different ways around the farm. From monitoring their Atlantic salmon, checking up on the farm and netting, retrieving dropped gear and monitoring for predators, the ROV has proven to be versatile and useful around the farm.
The unit allows for quick and convenient monitoring of the fish. “I use the unit to film the salmon and lumpfish inside the cages,” shared Sverre. By consistently monitoring the fish, the Erko Seafood team is able to stay on top of any health or feeding changes, solving minor issues before they become larger problems. Optimizing stock health is imperative for a successful farm.
Sverre also used the Deep Trekker to monitor the conditions of the farms by “filming inside the cages, checking the cages for damages.” Sverre noted that the unit is also useful in checking moorings, particularly when changes or adjustments have been made. Checking the net pens regularly ensures that the farm is clean, safe and structurally sound.
In addition to monitoring inside the farm Sverre noted, “I have also used the ROV to check for predators on the outside of the cages.” Keeping up with the location and behaviour of predators helps Sverre keep his farms, and the stock inside, safe.
Sverre touched on the versatility of the Deep Trekker unit mentioning, “I have also used it to check boats for damage and to pick up lost fishing gear.”
In addition to peace of mind and safety, one of the primary benefits an ROV system brings to a fish farm is financial savings. “Before we bought the ROV we had to contact divers for every little thing, from losing an item in one of the cages or just a quick check,” said Sverre. “I think that I have saved the price of buying the unit a few times since now I can do all the small things that I before needed divers to fix or check.”
In addition to the money saved by using the ROV in lieu of divers, the unit minimizes the cost of structural integrity and stock health issues. By conducting regular inspections of the fish, as well as their pens and mooring, pilots can spot and deal with minor issues before they grow into catastrophes. Preventing big problems from ever occurring by catching them before they start saves fish farms serious money in the long term.
For Sverre and the Erko Seafood team the versatility and convenience of the ROV has made Deep Trekker stand out from the rest. “It’s fast to set up and get in the water,” said Sverre. “The reason I decided to buy a Deep Trekker was because of the flexibility you have with it since you can carry it with one person and you don’t need power with you - you can use it for many hours when it’s charged.”
The battery operated and portable ROV has allowed Sverre to make the most of his time on the farm, completing a number of tasks efficiently and accurately.
For Sverre, the vertical thruster in particular has stood out as incredibly useful. “I use the vertical thruster a lot when I am checking things. I think you get a much more quiet camera when using that. I also use the grabber arm and the recording a lot.”
Sverre and the Erko Seafood team make great use of their ROV throughout many different aspects of their fish farms. We thank Sverre for his time! Learn more about how Deep Trekker benefits the aquaculture industry or reach out to our team of industry experts!
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