The TM Tarpaulins range of aquaculture products all have one aim – to foster fish health and well-being, meeting the challenges of the salmon fisheries industry in Scotland and abroad.
Fish welfare is paramount for the sustainable growth of the industry – happier fish mean better harvests and operational benefits. When it comes to our range of naturalistic kelp curtains and hides, however, the benefits are not aimed at the salmon themselves, but at the vital cleaner fish that keep them free of sea lice infestation.
As an anti-sea lice measure many fish farms are opting for the introduction of cleaner fish – chiefly lumpfish and ballan wrasse – into salmon cages. These fish feed on the sea lice that can cause devastation to salmon stocks. Cleaner fish do a great job of sea lice management, as long as they themselves are well managed.
Cleaner fish naturally inhabit relatively shallow water, where they are able to hide and rest among kelp forests. They also need shelter to avoid aggressive interactions and predation from salmon.
Kelp hides are thus an important factor in assuring optimal living conditions for cleaner fish, lessening their stress and therefore improving their efficiency at delousing the salmon they are living among.
With large mortality rates being recorded for cleaner fish, their welfare in salmon cages has become a matter for serious research and consideration. While science and the aquaculture industry debate whether it is acceptable to improve the welfare of salmon at the expense of the deaths of tens of millions of cleaner fish in farm cages, we are providing kelp hides and curtains to help alleviate the problem.
We have close contact with the leading players in the global aquaculture industry and are continually adjusting and perfecting our aquaculture products – including our kelp curtains and hides – to suit latest developments.
The aquaculture industry is understandably intent on replicating natural habitats in its fish cages as closely as possible, for the benefit of the health and well-being of both salmon and cleaner fish.
Our kelp curtains and hides can be constructed to the individual farmer’s unique specifications and configurations, ready to be deployed in fish cages of any dimension.
Our TM Tarpaulins aquaculture experts are always available to discuss the particular needs and requirements of our customers, and work with fisheries to find workable solutions for all sorts of challenges.
If you need kelp curtains or hides to mimic natural habitats to improve the welfare of cleaner fish and increase their productivity, give us a call. We can visit you on site and make recommendations for the design and installation of a kelp hide system.