Aquaculture Profiles

Aquaculture Insights – A Life Cycle Assessment of the environmental performance of copper mesh

nathanAyerBy Nathan Ayer
Senior Sustainability Advisor, EarthShift Global


Nathan Ayer is EarthShift Global’s Senior Sustainability Advisor and has extensive experience in environmental management issues in the aquaculture industry.

A study by EarthShift Global and the International Copper Association (ICA) using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to measure the environmental performance of copper alloy mesh was published in the peer-reviewed journal Aquaculture, the premier science journal for the industry. Copper alloy mesh is an alternative to current aquaculture industry standard nylon mesh and was developed by a group of ICA member companies for net-pen aquaculture systems.

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Submersible Copper-Alloy Mesh Pen Technology in Northern Chile

stillman3By Hal Stillman
Director, Technology Development and Transfer
International Copper Association



Northern Chile is known for its mountains, deserts, salt lakes, geysers, and hot springs. Although aquaculture is one of the leading industries in Chile, there are no fish farms in its northern coastal waters. Most aquaculture activity takes place in the southern region where Atlantic salmon are raised in abundance. The existence of many protected sites and cold, highly oxygenated water makes southern Chile an ideal location for fish farming.

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Aquaculture Growth in Australia

fennel3By John Fennell
Chief Executive Officer
International Copper Association Australia



Farmed fish production will provide almost two thirds of global fish consumption by 2030 according to a report by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). By 2021, more than half the fish consumed globally will be produced by aquaculture, according to the FAO.

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South Korea: A Natural Location for Aquaculture Growth

By Chris Lee
ICA Country Manager and Project Manager Copper Aquaculture, South Korea


A copper-alloy mesh cage in Goseong, South Korea


South Korea, a peninsula surrounded by the East, West and South Seas, is home to a growing aquaculture industry. In fact, commercial aquaculture has been practiced in the Korean peninsula for more than 300 years. Over the last 30 years the aquaculture industry has invested in the creation of optimal production systems to enhance global competitiveness throughout the country. Today South Korea maintains an abundance of fisheries resources along its coastline, extending about 2,413 km. With the decline of capture production over the last decade, South Korea has increased its reliance on aquaculture for finfish and other mariculture products. The majority of South Korean fish farms are located in the South Sea region.

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Copper-Mesh Update in Canada with Cermaq (formerly Mainstream, Canada)

By Bob Dwyer
Associate Director for Environment in the Health, Environment and Sustainable Development (HESD) Initiative – International Copper Association

Cermaq Canada’s Plover Point farm on Vancouver Island has been using copper-alloy nets since 2012. Video and underwater photography of the copper-alloy nets can be seen on the Cermaq website news room. Water tests have shown that the copper-alloy mesh does not increase the amount of copper in the surrounding ocean and that copper mesh provides a permanent antifouling performance. Cermaq reports they are the first company in Canada to try the new copper-mesh technology, and it is working well. The first harvest of Atlantic salmon from these copper-alloy pens occurred in December 2014. Cermaq is now using copper-mesh pens for a second growth cycle.

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Copper-Alloy Net Trial Update in Cahora Bassa, Mozambique

Copper-alloy-net in Cahora Bassa, Mozambique

Results from a recent study of copper-alloy and nylon pens installed in Cahora Bassa, a freshwater lake in Mozambique, Africa, indicates that copper-alloy netting is more durable.  The results also indicate that fish growth in the copper-alloy nets is greater than fish-growth in nylon nets.

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Marine Harvest Hatchery & Recirculation Facility in Lochailort

October 23, 2014

Hailed as one of the largest and most advanced recirculation centers in the world, Marine Harvest’s new 13,500m² fish hatchery and recirculation center in Lochailort, Scotland opened for business this year. It may come as no surprise that Lochailort, located in the beautiful Scottish highlands, was chosen as a prime location for the new facility. The area holds a rich history of salmon farming innovation by Marine Harvest dating back to 1965.

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Aquaculture in Africa: A Copper-Alloy Net Trial at Cahora Bassa, Mozambique

MozamFishFarmAlthough aquaculture is a relatively new industry in Southern Africa, significant growth and adoption of technologies are helping to feed many in the region.

Sub-Saharan Africa is comprised of 49 countries and has a population of more than 853 million people. This vast region has the world’s highest population growth and according to reports, it is also the world’s hungriest.

Fish have been, and still are (where available) the prime source of protein for many living in the sub-Saharan. However, as natural fish resources are depleted, “the gap between supply and demand is increasing at an alarming rate,” according to Evert Swanepoel, Director of the Copper Development Association Africa, South Africa. Studies show that the fish deficit in sub-Saharan Africa can only be met by successful development of the fish farming industry.

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Copper Meshes with Seafood Expo NA – PART II

By Bob Dwyer, ICA Associate Director for Environment

Bob DwyerMany successful meetings took place at the 2014 Seafood Expo in Boston. More than 200 visitors came to the ICA booth to inquire about copper-alloy mesh. Subsequently, my colleagues (John Black and Nicole Witoslawski) and I had the opportunity to talk one on one with interested parties about the many benefits of copper-alloy mesh materials for the fish-farming industry.

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Copper Meshes with Seafood Expo NA

International Copper Association Displays Copper-Alloy Mesh in Booth #691

By Bob Dwyer, ICA Associate Director for Environment

Bob DwyerThe ICA will attend this year’s Seafood Expo North America in Boston – March 16–18. I will join colleagues John Black, ICA Aquaculture Consultant, and Nicole Witoslawski, ICA Marketing & Communications Manager, for what promises to be an exciting show. Formerly known as the “Boston Seafood Show,” the Seafood Expo is held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and brings together more than 2,000 seafood vendors, distributors and manufacturers with 19,000+ buyers. This event provides a great opportunity for the ICA to introduce copper-alloy mesh materials to important segments of the seafood supply chain.

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