Cages are an open aquaculture system where the rearing environment is the environment itself.
There are interactions between cages and the environment in both the directions: cages can have impact on the environment and vice versa.
Moreover sites with cages can have impact on other cage sites, as pathogens and chemicals can be transferred from one cage to another (or from a site to another) by currents.
Within the site selection process, all possible interactions and their impact on the cage aquaculture - environment or human- related - should be evaluated and assessed in order to minimize threats, hazards and over exploitation.
Choosing a site in any fish-farming operation is crucial: it influences economic viability by determining income and affecting running costs, production and mortality, and, if compared to a land based facility there is less room for error.
A first general site characteristic is its exposure: an offshore site location will mean higher initial investments for cages, moorings and nets, higher costs of maintenance and greater risks, with resulting greater production costs. On the other hand, an exposed site will have a better hydro- dynamism, with a resulting lower environmental impact, better fish welfare and better quality of product. A sheltered site will be less exposed to waves and currents, which implies reduced maintenance and costs, but environmental impact issues are often associated with sheltered sites.
Badinotti Group can provide on site survey for Cage Farm Project as a preliminary approach to the Mooring Calculation.
Data collection is needed to identify: - Characteristics of the farming marine area; - Characteristics of the bottom substrate; - Range of penetrability of the substrate material; - Logistical survey for assembling and mooring installation operations; - Vehicles and staff available during operations phases;
The siting results is generally integrated with available bibliographic data regarding the marine weather conditions of the area selected for farming and in particular: - Significant wave height and direction (H-max) and (Hs); - Wave period; - Forces and directions from current in different depths; - Main wind forces and direction; - Main wind forces and direction during storm conditions.