VESSEL REVIEW | Jinghai 001 – Large-capacity intelligent fish cages deployed off eastern China

Photo: China Classification Society
Photo: China Classification Society

China's Yantai Jinghai Marine Fishing Company has begun deploying an array of intelligent fish cages in the waters of Yantai City in the eastern province of Shandong.

A total of 100 deep-sea cages will be deployed in the waters near Changdao Island in line with the Yantai municipal government's goal of developing the area into one of the largest fish breeding sites in Asia. Construction of all 100 cages is being undertaken by local shipyard Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Engineering and the initial eight examples, including lead unit Jinghai 001, were installed in depths of as much as 30 metres in 2021. Another four cages are set to be deployed off Shandong before the end of the current year, giving the area a running total of 12 units.

Each box-shaped cage will serve as a smart platform for breeding deep-sea fish and other aquatic species. The massive platforms are powered by both wind and solar energy and can perform automatic breeding, underwater monitoring, and underwater net washing. A petrol generator is available as a backup source of electrical power.

<em>Photo: China Classification Society</em>
Photo: China Classification Society

The cages each measure 68 by 68 metres and have capacity for 70,000 cubic metres holding up to 1,000 tonnes of fish and yielding a projected annual output of 700 tonnes. The structure was built to protect the harvested fingerlings from both predators and excessive sunlight, which could adversely affect quality.

The electronics suite fitted on each platform includes a 5G communications station, an ocean data observation system, an AI system, and 200 sensors that can perform real-time monitoring of the number and growth of the fish contained within. The sensors measure parameters such as salinity, pH, and oxygen levels. There are also specialised sensors that can account for the length, the weight, and even the distinct appearance of each fish within the cage at any given time.

As the platforms feature a high degree of automation, each one can be operated by a crew of only four.

Construction of the cages was completed under the supervision of China Classification Society.

Jinghai 001
Type of vessel:Fish cage
Classification:China Classification Society
Owner:Yantai Jinghai Marine Fishing Company, China
Builder:Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Engineering, China
Length overall:68 metres
Beam:68 metres
Capacity:70,000 cubic metres
Operational area:Eastern China

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