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Ersil joins Cedenna to develop nanoparticle-based solution to detect the breakdown of fish culture nets

July 31, 2020

The innovative project, which could imply great economic savings for this industry, received funds from Corfo to become an applied technology that seeks to face one of the great problems presented by companies engaged in fish farming.

One of the biggest problems facing fish farming companies is being able to detect in time when one of the containment and protection nets used in the process suffers a break. If this occurs, and does not respond to the contingency quickly, the economic losses can be millions due to the escape of fish or the very action of predators of the marine ecosystem.
Therefore, the search for innovative solutions found a way in the use of nanotechnology to develop a detection and alert system that allows us to know when a network has suffered a breakdown and thus react quickly and efficiently. The Ersil Group, through one of its companies, Talleres del Sur, obtained funds from Corfo to develop together with the Development Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Cedenna) a concrete solution to face this constant problem.
Today, the underwater inspection and net review process is slow and always risky for divers in charge of this task. Not only for working at depths greater than 20 meters (for divers) or 30 to 35 meters for remotely operated vehicles, but because they are extensions that can be up to 35 thousand square meters in what is refers to protection networks. Also, depending on environmental conditions and underwater visibility, the review process to find the flaws can take anywhere from a couple of hours to more than a week.
According to Omar Daud, an engineer at Cedenna and a PhD in mechatronics, “the development we propose is to incorporate nanoparticulate elements with well-defined optical and / or magnetic characteristics in network coatings, which will allow the detection of breaks more quickly and remotely through the use of a remotely operated vehicle, reconditioned for such operations, incorporating sensor technology capable of interacting with the nanomaterial.
According to Daud, “once the early detection system (coating with nanostructures + reconditioned remotely operated vehicle) is developed, it is envisioned that it can be used by any aquaculture company in the world and could also have applications in the shipping industry” .

This solution – unprecedented until now in terms of the incorporation of nanometric elements to the covering of farming nets – seeks to solve one of the biggest problems presented by companies engaged in fish farming, due to the containment and protection nets used in the culture they are submerged and periodically they must be reviewed, to avoid that they present breaks and if they are not repaired on-site it can cause losses due to the attack of marine predators or the escape of fish.
Gonzalo Rojas, commercial manager of the Ersil Group, points out that “we are sure that with this new product that we will develop based on nanotechnology we will be able to incorporate new and innovative characteristics into the cultivation networks, which will allow our clients to make their operational processes more efficient” . And he adds: “This new project, together with others that we are developing with contributions from CORFO – and others with the support of our clients – reaffirm our permanent commitment to innovation, care for the environment and efficiency in our clients’ processes.”



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