The Impact of Net Cleaning on Fish Health in Aquaculture

Net cleaning is a commonly performed operation in aquaculture that aims to maintain a healthy environment within fish cages. While it helps to ensure sufficient dissolved oxygen levels, net cleaning can also have negative effects on fish health, particularly on their gills. Understanding these impacts is crucial for optimizing net cleaning practices and promoting fish welfare.

Gill Health and Importance:

Gills play a vital role in fish physiology, being responsible for oxygen uptake, waste elimination, acid-base balance regulation, and hormone metabolism. Therefore, maintaining good gill health is essential for overall fish health and welfare.

Risks Associated with Net Cleaning:

Net cleaning introduces certain risks that can compromise gill health. Fouling organisms, like hydroids, leave small fragments behind during cleaning, which can float into the cage and attach themselves to fish gills. These fragments, including nematocysts, can cause significant gill damage, such as blood clots, impairing the gills’ proper function.

Mitigating Risks and Promoting Gill Health:

To minimize potential risks, net cleaning should be approached with caution. Implementing strategies to optimize net cleaning operations can help ensure fish welfare:

  1. Monitoring Biofouling Overgrowth:

    Regular ROV inspections can be utilized to monitor biofouling overgrowth and identify areas prone to fouling. This information can guide targeted cleaning efforts.

  2. Targeted Cleaning:

    Instead of routine cleaning, screening the cage systematically and regularly allows for cleaning only when and where needed. This approach reduces unnecessary disturbance and minimizes potential damage to fish gills.

While net cleaning in aquaculture is essential for maintaining water quality and oxygen levels, it also poses risks to fish health, particularly gill health. By understanding these risks and implementing targeted cleaning practices, aquaculture operators can promote optimal gill health, ensuring the overall well-being of their fish populations.

KARMENstudio’s data detect which positions are more susceptible to fast overgrowth. By cleaning them on time, the rest of the net stays clean for longer and ensures a significant increase of dissolved oxygen levels in the cage. Heat maps and growth graphs will help you keep an eye on critical places of the net.

Also, our advanced AI can be trained to detect different kinds of fouling, helping you pick the best anti-fouling intervention.

We analyze only one video to provide several vital metrics.

Using only one video (recorded by any ROV/camera with) to analyze several aquaculture parameters – net holes, fouling, and inspection coverage (did the ROV record 100% of the net), we increase ROI on video recording costs.

If you would like to know more about KARMENstudio’s work, services, and modules, please, contact us – we will gladly answer all your questions and provide additional information.

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