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Copper-Alloy Net Pens Survive Two Major Typhoons

26 September 2012

SOUTH KOREA - Two major typhoons struck the Korean peninsula on 28 and 30 August, leaving massive damages totaling $300 million to aquaculture farms on Jeju Island and off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula. However, the copper-alloy net pens installed off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula survived high waves (6m) and strong winds (max. 185 km/hr). The majority of the 50,000 sea bream growing in the net pens also survived.

As a result of the typhoons, traditional nylon and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) aquaculture nets suffered major damage, and the fish in the both the nylon and PET nets escaped. The copper-alloy net pens were not damaged and remained in their original shape without any fish escapes.

The copper-alloy net offshore circular pen is 25m in diameter, 12m in depth and weighs approximately 8.5 tons. The wire used for the copper-alloy mesh chain link is 3.5mm GEMwire (Daechang Co., Ltd., patented brass alloy), which has superior anti-corrosion and anti-abrasion performance. The net pen was designed by a Korean cage company (Ocean Systek).

Mr Hong Seok-nam, President of Insung Fishery Co., says: “Right now we need to focus on recovery from the crisis, but in the long term, strong aquaculture systems must be built that can overcome and endure typhoons. Rigid copper-alloy net pens may be the solution.”

“Copper-alloy mesh continues to prove itself as leader in not just salmon farming, but also in offshore aquaculture. Because of its mass, the mesh imparts a stationary inertia supporting the cage frame that cannot be found in other netting products,” said Langley Gace, Aquaculture Applications Development Manager, International Copper Association.

Copper’s natural properties reduce the growth of organic matter, a serious concern with traditional nylon nets. Copper alloys reduce maintenance costs, provide more oxygen to fish in the nets and reduce use of antibacterial agents, providing a healthier environment for fish. The strength of copper-alloy net pens protects fish from predators and natural disasters such as typhoons. All copper-alloy mesh is 100 per cent recyclable.

TheFishSite News Desk



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