Aquaculture & Aquafarming Technologies cc (A&AT)

- Model HDPE - Soft Mesh

However, with the rapid advances in material development it did not take us long to realise that High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) had characteristics that whilst it may not have suited the requirements of the marine trawler industry, had many advantages for fish farmers. HDPE has a much higher Ultra Violet (UV) resistance than nylon or polyester, is less dense and therefore weighs less, is less prone to allowing algae and marine organisms to attach to it’s surface, is easier to clean and is as a result a more cost effective alternative.

Together with a local synthetic material extrusion company we developed the first HDPE fish netting for Aquaculture in Africa. The concept has since then gained recognition all over the world although due to the fact that the aquaculture market is relatively small compared to the trawler segment, manufacturers have been reluctant to promote the technology and the supply is limited. We can however supply the best HDPE products available, with mesh sizes and braid diameters that suit your requirements (stock items sizes are however limited).

UV stability is critical. A typical nylon net subjected to the full force of the African sun all day, every day will need to be replaced on average every 2-3 years due to UV degradation, whereas HDPE with its significantly higher UV tolerance level and exposed to the same sunlight can be expected to last 4-5 times as long.

Density of the cage net material; in other words the weight per square metre is most relative when cage staff have to work the cages. Time is money, and the quicker a net can be lifted, examined, cleaned and replaced the more effective the business can operate.

Nets must be kept clean to both allow water to freely flow through the mesh, and to reduce the risk of bacterial attack on the stock held within the cage. Cleaning a HDPE net is done in a fraction of the time of a nylon net due to the smoothness of the surface of polyethylene material and the lower number of strands in the braid. Each HDPE strand has a higher breaking strength compared to a strand of nylon, which is the reason why the braid diameter of HDPE is generally thinner but stronger.

We recommend the use of High Pressure Water Spray cleaners, or brush scrubbing by hand (bristle brooms work well) with continuous water spray. Ideally, the net should be swapped-out (detailed advice as to how to accomplish this follows with all net orders) and cleaning performed on land, with the waste water being left to dry and not re-introduced to the water body.

Each cage can be ordered with, or without a HDPE grow-out net according to your specifications. The grow-out capacity of an 8 metre deep net in a circular 15M diameter cage is approx 1,450 m3 besides 1.25 metre of the net being above water. Standard juvenile nets are 6M x 6M x3M (underwater) with a 5mm stretched mesh size.

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