Aquaculture is playing a significant and growing role in global food production. Already, nearly half the fish consumed by people is produced by aquaculture, and a significant portion of future increases in the global seafood supply will come from aquaculture. In the U.S., some 84 percent of seafood consumed by Americans is imported, and about half of those imports are aquaculture products. The domestic aquaculture industry supplies only about 5 percent of the seafood Americans consume.
The aquaculture industry has been experiencing an increasing demand driven by the increasing evidence of health benefits of eating more fish and the decline in stocks of many major commercially-caught fish species. There are aquaculture plants and land-based fish farms and cage farms. Sea cage farms require mooring systems, complete with mooring lines and buoys.
A special type of mooring system is needed for sea cage farming systems. There are two mooring options:
Slack mooring is more commonly used for ships, allowing them to drift around a single anchorage point. While slack mooring has also been tried, the pre-stressed mooring system is more commonly used.
The pre-stressed system is well adapted for use in flexible cage farm constructions. In correctly designed systems, the forces will be equally spread over the entire farm. Pre-stressing of the mooring system is performed at high tide and the forces can be up to several tons of kilonewtons.*
Aquaculture Engineering and other books are excellent resources for the marine enthusiast.
* Excerpts from “Aquaculture Engineering“, by Odd-Ivar Lekang (2007). Published by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
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