Akvaplan-niva has participated in a project titled "Biological Effects of Net Cleaning with High-Pressure Water vs. Probotics Innovation." The aim of the study was to investigate the effects on fish behavior, gill health, and fouling communities during net cleaning using a cleaning robot developed by the Norwegian company Probotic. The study concludes that Probotic's robot had no adverse effects on fish mortality or appetite compared to traditional high-pressure water cleaning methods. In the project Akvaplan-niva has collaborated with Probotic, Ballangen Sjøfarm, and Cermaq, The project was funded by MABIT and Probotic.
The study's sub-objectives included mapping the number of particles during net cleaning, identifying fouling communities, assessing any correlation between net cleaning and gill problems, analyzing fish behavior during cleaning, and verifying if there were any seen effects on salmon while Probotic's robot was in use.
Studying algae that grow on net pens (Photo: Probotic)
In this trial study we could not conclude that the traditional method of net cleaning with high-pressure cleaning has no adverse effects on the fish. The use of Probotic's robot during production did not negatively affect fish mortality or appetite compared to pens without the robot at the same facility and with the same fish group.
The study highlights the need for larger-scale projects to obtain more reliable data. Probotic is committed to continuous improvement and research to understand better the impact of net cleaning on fish health and the environment.
For more information read attached project reports (In Norwegian only):
The 2021 report (Del A) presents the results from the first phase of the project which set out to describe the species on the nets and how traditional methods effect fish health. The 2022 report (Del B) presents the results from the second phase of the project which was a pilot test of the Probotics technology in net pens to develop indicators to evaluate the effects on fish health from the use of this technology.