The Efficient Method of Catching Cleaner Fish

Recapturing lumpfish is a time-consuming process, and personnel must ensure that the cleaner fish are handled with care during the process. When Aqua Farms Vartal, subsidiary of Måsøval, bought the recapturing solution SeaNest in 2023, they discovered a solution for both issues.

— We bought our first SeaNest in 2022 and the solution worked very well for capturing lumpfish, says Petter Ove Sætre at Aqua Farms Vartdal.

— The solution is easy to apply and the fish easy to collect. We also appreciate that the product can be used over and over again.

Placed Their Order on Wednesday, Installed by Friday

Aqua Farms Vartal has, like most fish farmers, spent a lot of time and resources on harvesting lumpfish.

— When SeaNest released a recapturing solution that is mounted on existing cleaner fish shelters, we acted fast to test it. In January 2023, we contacted Estro, manufacturer and supplier of SeaNest, Sætre elaborates, summarizing:

— It was a Wednesday morning in January we decided to trythe recapture solution – and by Friday the recapturing solution was put into operation in the fish cages.

3,500 Cleaner Fish Caught During One Operation

— SeaNest is an open hide, and after 20 minutes we could already see increased activity. We were almost astounded when, on our first attempt a few hours later, we caught about 3,500 lumpfish in one hide by recapture.

— We emptied the lumpfish into a tank onboard the boat. Combined, the recapturing solution and SeaNest seemed to be very gentle on the fish, while also being a quick and efficient way of catching the cleaner fish, explains Sætre.

After the collection, SeaNest was put back in the fish cage. The following morning, Sætre and his colleagues repeated the success and caught another 2,500 lumpfish. The entire collection period lasted 2-3 days, but the actual handling was done in a mere few hours.

A Simple Process

Sætre reports that both he and his colleagues are very satisfied with the number of fish they managed to catch in the short time span.

— The process was incredibly simple compared to traditional recapturing. We have now washed the recapturing equipment and put it away, ready for the next round of fish removal, while the SeaNest cleanerfish hide is in regular, daily use.

— Knowing that Aqua Farms Vartal has been successful with the recapturing solution is incredibly rewarding, it is particularly gratifying that the parent company Måsøval, which has applied SeaNest since 2020, has placed additional orders for several of its facilities, concludes Trond Marøy, Sales Manager Fish Health at Imenco Aqua.

SeaNest is a part of Imenco Aqua.