Copper-alloy Mesh Pen Resists Sharp Teeth and Storms


NEW YORK, NY/U.S. (19 June 2013) –

Sea Bream and Rough Seas Unable to Damage Netting

Key Highlights:

  • First copper-alloy pen deployed in Mediterranean Sea near Palairos, Greece, and stocked with Sea Bream.
  • The strength of the copper-alloy mesh resists the constant biting of the Sea Bream and does not require frequent cleaning or antifoulant materials because it resists the growth of organic materials.
  • The Hellenic Marine Institute will use the pen for water quality research, including bottom sampling and fish-flesh studies.

The International Copper Association (ICA) and Proteus, an aquaculture solutions provider, recently installed a trial pen, manufactured of copper-alloy mesh, in the Mediterranean Sea near Palairos, Greece. The pen was deployed on 16 May in an existing Nireus farm and stocked on 20 May with Sea Bream (Sparus aurata). The pen already withstood its first major storm on 24 May. The storm, packed with strong winds, caused a nylon net deployed at the same location and stocked with the same number of fish, to lose its volume (i.e., lose its shape due to failures) and require repairs. The copper pen showed no signs of deformation in volume.

Spiridoula Sklavebiti, site manager for Nireus, said, “We are excited to be a part of this trial and have already seen the benefits of copper-alloy mesh in a recent storm. The pen incurred no damage while those around it needed some repair.”

The copper-alloy pen is constructed from 20mm copper-alloy mesh (produced by FITCO is a subsidiary of Halcor, an industrial company specializing in copper processing)—an ideal size for small species. Sea Bream is growing increasingly popular in Greece, Turkey and Spain. However, they are known for their sharp teeth and constant net biting.

In addition to sharp teeth, fouling is a major concern for fish farmers in the Mediterranean. Farms coat traditional netting with antifoulant materials and have to clean the nets while they are in the water, causing debris to be sent adrift. This process is costly and unsustainable. As Langley Gace, aquaculture applications development manager, remarked, “Copper-alloy mesh has proven itself across the globe by resisting predators, storm damage and biofouling. We are now looking forward to proving this technology in the Mediterranean.”

Christos Tsiakalis, production manager at Proteus SA, added, “Proteus is looking forward to testing this product in our local waters with a particularly challenging species such as Sea Bream with their sharp teeth. We hope to soon offer our customers an escape-proof netting solution, and we believe this might be it.”

The trial pen will be used for water quality research conducted by the Hellenic Marine institute, including bottom sampling and fish-flesh studies. The Sea Bream will be harvested in December 2013.

View installation photos

About The International Copper Association
The International Copper Association (ICA) increases awareness and usage of copper by communicating the unique attributes that make this sustainable element an essential contributor to the formation of life, to advances in science and technology, and to a higher standard of living throughout the world. The ICA’s 43 members represent a majority of the world’s refined copper output and are among the largest copper producers, fabricators, and wire and cable companies.

About Copper Alliance™
The Copper Alliance™ is a network of regional copper centers and their industry-leading members, led by ICA. ICA and the Copper Alliance™ are responsible for guiding policy and strategy and for funding international initiatives and promotional activities. Headquartered in New York, the organization has offices in four primary regions: Asia, Europe and Africa, Latin America and North America. Copper Alliance™ programs and initiatives are executed in more than 60 countries through its regional offices and 27 copper promotion centers.

About Hellenic Copper Development Institute
Hellenic Copper Development Institute (HCDI) is a nonprofit organization in Athens, Greece and a member of the European Copper Institute (ECI). For more information on HCDI and its technical library visit

About Nireus
Nireus is the global leader in production and trading of Mediterranean aquaculture species, specializing in Sea Bream, Sea Bass and Meagre. Nireus is also active in the field of juvenile production, fish feed production and aquaculture equipment. Details available at

About Proteus S.A.
Proteus S.A. provides turnkey solutions for the aquaculture industry, from the design and feasibility study to the construction and commissioning of all aquaculture related projects like hatcheries, processing and packing facilities, and fish farms.

For more information, visit or


Media Contact: Nicole Witoslawski
Marketing Communications Manager, International Copper Association
+1 646.350.9968,