Aquatraz battled in the storm: “This is an undesirable event for Midt-Norsk Havbruk”

Stian Olsen

First autumn storm in Central Norway’s Trøndelag coast ripped an empty Aquatraz cage from its moorings on Tuesday morning.

The case was updated at 18.05 on Tuesday.

Midt-Norsk Havbruk (MNH) reports in a press release which was first covered in the newspaper Ytringen that first mentioned the incident. The case was also reported in Namdalsavisa.

According to MNH, the Aquatraz cage was raised for washing and disinfection work. The cage was located on the specially built floating pontoons as the autumn storm seized the structure which is 20m high, with its heavy steel cages weighing 500 tonnes.

No visible damage
The Aquatraz cage was in the intertidal zone. By Tuesday, the situation was under control, according to the company.

“So far, no visible damage to the cage, or flow-related challenges, has been recorded. The cage seems to have coped with the unexpected stress well. Aquatraz is designed specifically to maintain stability and flowability even under strong external stresses,” wrote MNH.

Cages and pontoons will be investigated and checked more closely when the weather permits.

“This is an undesirable event for Midt-Norsk Havbruk. I want to commend our crews for prompt and resolute action. Once again, they showed their skill. Afterwards, we will review the event to learn from it. This will change our procedure for washing and disinfecting Aquatraz,” said CEO Frank Øren.

Wind speed up to 36 m/s
The wind led the construction inland. MNHs deployed several service vessels to pull the cage offshore, including the 24-foot-long “Hermann Jr.” who also received assistance from the rescue ship “Harald V”.

At 6 pm, MNH informs SalmonBusiness that it contacted “Hermann Jr”. There were gusts of up to 36 m/s in the area, far higher than the 18 m/s, which were reported on Tuesday.

According to MNH, the extra security measures that were made for today’s washing and disinfection work were not enough in view of the wind conditions that occurred.

Immersed in the sea – and filled with fish – Aquatraz cages are not exposed to this type of wind effect, according to MNH.

MNH further stated that they are waiting for more service vessels and people to have Aquatraz re-moored in the grid at the site.

Over the past year, MNH tested the first generation of Aquatraz cages at the site. The site is already empty of fish. The Aquatraz cage that broke loose will eventually be relocated to another site where the second generation of Aquatraz is located.

By Wednesday night, the Aquatraz safely moored back.


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