Scottish Sea Farms will soon take delivery of a new delousing boat built by local shipyard Ferguson Marine.
The £6 million (US$8.34 million) Kallista Helen will operate with Scottish Sea Farms on long-term lease from Mull-based Inverlussa Marine Services.
Designed by Macduff Ship Design in partnership with Inverlussa and Scottish Sea Farms, the new vessel will enable the salmon producer to intervene earlier with regards to sea lice control, helping safeguard farmed fish health.
The vessel’s key piece of delousing equipment, developed by Norwegian aquaculture equipment specialist ScaleAQ, will use water heated to between 30 and 34 degrees Celsius to kill lice, which have a low tolerance for changes in temperature.
The equipment will also include: a simpler, straighter pipe layout creating a gentler experience for the fish; a wider than standard pipe of 600 millimetres diameter to ensure a smoother journey through the system; increased capacity of up to 120 tonnes per hour; and 150-micron filtration to separate and collect the dislodged sea lice for removal from the marine environment.
The delousing equipment will be housed in a dedicated sheltered deck to protect it from the elements. This will also free up more space on the vessel’s top deck for other equipment, including three cranes that will help reduce dependence on other workboats during treatments.
The vessel will also have a heat recovery system that will draw heat from the engines and transfer it to the delousing system, saving on both fuel usage and carbon emissions.
Once works are complete, the vessel will operate with two five-strong crews – one from Scottish Sea Farms, the other from Inverlussa – each working three-week on/off shift patterns.
Kallista Helen is expected to arrive in Shetland in early May where it will be fitted out by Scale AQ’s Scottish team and Ocean Kinetics of Lerwick.
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