Knowledge about nets for
aquaculture may help
reduce escape of fish

June 2015

Holes in the net are the main reason for escape of
farmed fish. Manufacturers of nets and SINTEF shall
cooperate in solving common challenges in a new
project funded by the Norwegian Research
The Robust Net-project will generate important new
knowledge about factors that affect the lifetime
and strength of nets during fish production. The
lifetime of nets depends on physical, chemical and
biological strains from the environment, the material
of the net and how the net is handled.
Manufacturers and users of nets have a lot of
experience in what affects the strength of the net,
but little of this has been scientifically studied and
documented. Based on research activities in the
project and the industry partners' experience and
knowledge, new test methods and test procedures
will be developed. These may be applied to assess
and document mechanical properties of netting
subjected to various forms of wear and
deterioration that occur during operation.
There will be a special focus on contact wear, wear
during washing of nets and aging as a result of
chemical use. Emphasis will be kept on developing
objective measurement and test methods for
netting, to establish a basis for industry standards
and provide input to future revisions of national and
international technical standards.
The results will stimulate development of more
robust and secure net cages and by providing
advice on how nets should be treated, for example
during removal of bio-fouling and parasites. More
robust nets will have improved resistance against
deterioration from wear and aging, and will thus
better maintain strength and other mechanical
properties in operation. This may help reduce
escapes of farmed fish and ensure more efficient
use of resources.
The project will lead to the creation of a consortium
of companies, which will work together to solve
common R & D challenges in the development of
aquaculture nets. The project is led by SINTEF
Fisheries and Aquaculture AS with SINTEF Materials
and Chemistry as a research partner. The project
has 6 equal industrial partners, including Badinotti
Slovakia s.r.o.
The project is funded by the Norwegian Research
Council and in-kind contributions from the industry
partners, and has a duration of three years until
December 2017. Project leader is Heidi Moe Føre at
SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture AS
(, 48042932).
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