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Title:
DEVICE FOR CULTURE OF AQUATIC ORGANISMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/051243
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a forming plant for aquatic organisms comprising buoyancy means for the farming elements (4) suspended down into the sea. The buoyancy means comprise at least one elongated buoyancy body (1) and at least a number of attachment means (2) arranged along the upper edge of the buyoancy means when in its intended floating position, for attachment of farming elements (4). The attachment means (2) comprises an elongated attachment ridge (3) preferably with recesses (5) for attachment of the growing elements (4).

Inventors:
Lien, Egil (Torplassen 5A Saupstad, N-7078, NO)
Application Number:
PCT/NO2001/000471
Publication Date:
July 04, 2002
Filing Date:
November 27, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Sintef, Fiskeri Havbruk OG. (Pirsentret Trondheim, N-7865, NO)
Lien, Egil (Torplassen 5A Saupstad, N-7078, NO)
International Classes:
A01K61/00; A01K61/54; A01K61/60; (IPC1-7): A01K61/00
Foreign References:
EP0137087A11985-04-17
FR2615691A11988-12-02
US4244323A1981-01-13
US6044798A2000-04-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fluges, Patent (Postboks 214 Fredrikstad, N-1601, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C L A I M S
1. Farming plant for aquatic organisms, comprising buoyancy means for culture elements (4) hanging down into the sea, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy means comprises at least one elongated buoyancy body (1) and at least one elongated, substantially continuous attachment ridge (3) arranged along the upper side of the buoyancy means (1) when in its normal floating position, in which the attachment ridge extends along substantially the entire length of the buoyancy body; in which the attachment ridge (3) comprises a row of attachment means (2), for attachment of culture elements (4).
2. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the farming element (1) comprises an extruded tube.
3. Growing plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the attachment means (2) comprises notches (5) for attachment of the culture elements (4).
4. Farming plant according to claim 1 or 3, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the notches (5) comprise through slots (7), preferably in transverse direction in the attachment ridge (3).
5. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the notches (5) comprise skewed notches (7), formed in the elongate attachment ridge (3).
6. Farming plant according to claim 4 or 5, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the notches (5) comprise local groups of two or three notches (7), formed in the elongate attachment ridge (3).
7. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the culture elements (4) comprise at least one line (8) attached in said attachment means (2).
8. Farming plant according to claim 7, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the line (8) is attached by hooking it into one or more notches (5) or in one or more slots (7).
9. Farming plant according to claim 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the culture elements are formed by the line (8) in that points having a mainly equal first separation along the line (8) are attaches in the notches (5) having a mainly equal second separation along the attachment ridge (3), where the second separation is shorter than the first separation, thereby enabling the line to hang downwards from the attachment ridge in the form of loops or a catenary line.
10. Farming plant according to claim 7 or 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the culture elements (4) comprise cages (9) suspended from the line (8).
11. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y at least one line is attached to the mooring means (10) for mooring of the farming plant.
12. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a preferably permanently arranged inner tube (16) for air or water, for controlling the buoyancy of the buoyancy body (1), arranged within the buoyancy body (1) and extending mainly along the entire length of the buoyancy body.
13. Farming plant according to claim 1 or claim 12, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y an air hose (14) arranged at a first end of the buoyancy body (1), arranged for charging or discharging the buoyancy means (1) with air.
14. Farming plant according to claim 12, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y an air hose (14) arranged at the first end of the inner tube (16), arranged for charging or discharging the inner tube (16) with air.
15. Farming plant according to claim 14, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t a second end of the buoyancy body (1), opposite of the first end, is open to the sea.
16. A farming plant according to claim 12, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t a second end of the inner tube (16), opposite of the first end, has an opening to the sea, preferably in the form of holes through the lower portion of the inner tube (16) and the buoyancy means (1).
17. Farming plant according to one of the claims 14 or 15, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy means (1) is moored by means of mooring elements (10) resting on the sea bed and suspended from lines (8) having adjusted lengths, the second end being in a relatively deeper position, while the first end with the attached air hose (14) connected is in a relatively shallower position, intended firstly for elevation of the first end by filling air via the air hose (14), thereby forcing water out at the second, open end of the buoyancy body (1).
18. Farming plant according to claim 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the farming elements (4) comprise rope, net mesh,"Swedish band"or ladder line.
19. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy means (1) is provided with a boom' (18) for being arranged mainly across the buoyancy means (1), said boom (18) having a completely or partly circular recess with a notch (17) intended to incorporate the attachment ridge (3), thereby preventing the buoyancy means (1) from twisting due to torque, for example caused by unevenly distributed loads from the farming elements (4), moorings, etc.
20. Farming plant according to claim 19, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the boom (18) extends across two or more buoyancy means (1).
21. Farming plant according to claim 7, c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y knots or balls (20) intended to prevent the line (8) from slipping through the notches (7) or the recesses (5).
22. Farming plant according to claim 8, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the notches (7) are skewed or at an angle in order to increase the friction or the grip with respect to the line (8).
23. Farming plant according to claim 1, where the attachment ridge (3) has a substantially rectangular cross section area.
24. Farming plant according to claim 1, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the attachment means (2) comprises projections (6) for attachment of the culture elements (4).
25. Farming plant according to claiml, in which the attachment means (3) comprises a tube having a smaller diameter than the buoyancy body (1) and is welded to or glued to the buoyancy body (1).
26. Method for providing a farming tube comprising a buoyancy means (1) with a plurality of attachment means (2) arranged along what is intended to form the upper edge of the buoyancy means in its normal floating position, for attachment of culture elements, where the attachment means (2) comprises an elongated attachment ridge (3) having a substantially rectangular cross sectional area, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy means (1) and the attachment ridge (3) are extruded in one and the same operation through a nozzle with a tube shaped orifice, and with a notch arranged on the outer edge for parallel extrusion of the attachment ridge (3).
27. Method for producing a culture pipe comprising a buoyancy body (1) having a row of attachment devices (2) arranged along what shall become the buoyancy body's upper side in its normal floating posture, for attachment of culture elements, in which the attachment devices (2) comprise an elongate attachment ridge (3) having a generally rectangular crosssection, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy body (1) and the attachment ridge (3,3') is extruded in two separate nozzles, with subsequent joining, e. g. by gluing or welding, of the buoyancy body (1) and the attachment ridge (3,3').
28. Method for producing a culture pipe according to claim 26 or 27, in that notches (7) are milled in the attachment ridge (3), in which the notches constitute a part of the attachment means (2).
29. Method for elevating a submerged, elongate buoyancy body (1) for use in aquatic culture plants, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy body (1) is moored with mooring elements (10) lying on the bottom of the sea and held by lines (8) having adapted lengths and attached in their upper ends in the buoyancy body (1), having a second end of the buoyancy body (1), in which an air hose (14) is connected, moored lying more shallowly, in submerged position, and arranged for elevating of a first end firstly by aircharging via the air hose (14) in that water is forced out through the second, open end of the buoyancy body.
30. Method for submerging a floating, elongate buoyancy body (1) for use in aquatic culture plants, c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h a t the buoyancy body (1) is provided with mooring elements (10) arranged for resting on the bottom of the sea and held by lines (8) having adapted lengths, and attached in their upper ends in the buoyancy body (1), so that the second end of the buoyancy body rests deeper in submerged position, and having a first end of the buoyancy body (1), in which the air hose (14) is connected, said first end arranged for resting mooraged in a more shallow position in the sea, and arranged for submerging the second, opposite end firstly by air discharge via the air hose (14), in that air is released from the first end via the air hose (14), and that water is let in through the other, open end of the buoyancy body (1).
Description:
DEVICE FOR CULTURE OF AQUATIC ORGANISMS The invention relates to a submersible pipe structure for cultivation, to be used for farming of aquatic organisms, such as shells, snails or the like.

Prior art To-day long-line. extended arrays are in general use for farming of mussels, clams or scallops, oysters and the like.

Such long-line arrays consist of so-called long-line buoy stretches, these being in principle made up of buoys carrying a mainly horizontal rope from which mussel sampler and cages are suspended. The buoy stretch may extend between two transverse beams floating in the sea, each of which further being provided with a mooring line. The buoy stretches may be extended between two transverse booms floating in the sea, each of which being moored by means of a mooring line. There are a number of problems related to such technology.

Loss of buoys or puncturing may cause the entire plant to sink. When subjected to waves the buoys are set in motions which are propagated down to the organisms, causing the mussels to fall off or at the least causing a reduced growth.

Further, such a plant represents a kind of visual contamination, which may cause annoyance along the coast.

Equipment, such as collectors, cages, etc. is attached on the suspension line being continually submerged.

Operation of such plants implies that the system must be lifted out of the water for service and harvesting. In conventional mussel plants the collectors are attached to a horizontal support line, either by means of knots, or by means of suitable clips.

Short summary of the invention One solution for overcoming the above problems and other problems related to existing farming plants for aquatic organisms is a farming plant which comprises buoyancy means for farming elements submerged into the sea.

The buoyancy means may comprise an elongated buoyancy body and at least a number of attachment means arranged along the upper side of the buoyancy means when floating in its normal floating position, for attachment of the culture elements.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the culture plant incorporates attachment means comprising an elongated attachment ridge or fin having a mainly rectangular cross-sectional area.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention the attachment means comprises recesses or notches for attachment of the farming elements.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention the attachment means comprises protrusions for attachment of the farming elements, preferably comprising skewed recesses extending transversely through the elongated attachment ridge.

According to a preferred embodiment the recesses comprise skewed notches formed in the elongated attachment ridge.

According to a preferred embodiment the notches may comprise local groups of two or three adjacent notches formed in the elongated attachment ridge.

According to a preferred embodiment the farming elements comprise at least one line attached in the attachment means. It should be appreciated, however, that the farming elements may be attached directly on the attachment mean, for example by a net mesh or a"ladder"-

line attached directly to the recesses or the notches on the attachment means.

For farming tubes the continuous culture elements, also called collectors, may be arranged in a zigzag pattern across the tube, attached in notches in the ridge.

Installation and harvesting may then be performed from the sea level, avoiding attachment at a carrier line.

For farming tubes it is possible to attach the culture units above the sea surface. Accessibility is considerably improved, and installation and harvesting, together with inspection, are substantially simplified.

The farming tube may be submerged. Consequently, the wave induced motion on the structure and on the organisms, is reduced. Hence, the risk for average is reduced, in addition to the fact that the plant is not visible at the surface of sea.

This is achieved according to the invention by employing a tube which along its upper side is provided with means for attachment of equipment, and that the tube simply may be elevated or submerged by means of compressed air.

The marked may be largest for culture of mussels. This may mainly be done by employing permanently floating tubes which do not have to be submerged unless in case of extraordinary situations to avoid pollution or temporary unfavourable conditions.

The invention is illustrated in the accompanying figures which should not be construed as a limitation of the invention.

Figure 1 illustrates a buoyancy body in the form of an elongated tube being equipped with attachment means arranged along a rectangular ridge along a side of the tube which is arranged for being upwards.

Figure 2 illustrates farming means 4, shown suspended

on lines 8, for example in the form of cages 9. A mooring or weight or weight stabiliser is also shown.

Figure 3 illustrates that a line 8 as such may form the farming means for shells.

Figure 4 illustrates a simplified farming plant where one buoyancy body is provided with culture elements and arranged in a submerged position by means of mooring elements or weights 10, and where the tube may be brought to the surface by means of injection of compressed air at one end.

Figure 5 illustrates an inner tube which may constitute a permanent buoyancy body or which may be charged with water or discharged in order to control the buoyancy.

Figure 6 illustrates two alternative embodiments of an air hose 14.

Figure 7 illustrates a traverse boom for sideways stabilisation against rolling (and lateral movement) of the buoyancy body 1 and its attachment ridge.

Figure 8 illustrates on embodiment of the invention in which knots on the rope prevent the line from slipping through the notches.

Figure 9 illustrates one method of attaching the line in three notches at a time along the attachment ridge.

Description of a preferred embodiment of the invention The farming tube according to the invention is shown on the drawing in Figure 1, showing a part of a farming plant for aquatic organisms, comprising buoyancy means for culture elements 4 suspended into the sea, wherein the new features of the invention is that the buoyancy means comprises at least one elongate buoyancy body 1 having at least one row of means for attachment 2 arranged along the upper part of the buoyancy body when in normal floating position, for

attachment of culture elements 4. According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the attachment means comprises an upper, external flange or ridge, for attachment of farming units, all as described below.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention the attachment means 2 comprises an elongated attachment ridge 3 having a substantially rectangular cross sectional area, as shown in Figure 1 and 2. The attachment means 2 may comprise notches 5 and/or protruding elements/ridges 6 for attachment of the farming elements 4.

According to a preferred embodiment the notches 5 extend through the ridge, preferably being of in the form of laterally extending notches 7, formed in the longitudinally extending attachment ridge 3. If the notches are arranged with short separation along the attachment ridge 3, the remaining parts of the attachment ridge between the closely arranged notches form the protrusions 6. It may be skewed notches 7, formed in the elongated attachment ridge 3 in order to obtain increased frictional area for a line 8 laid through the notches, the line holding the farming elements 4 or forming the farming elements 4.

A preferred embodiment of the invention comprises local groups of two or three notches 7 formed in the elongated attachment ridge 3, as shown on Figure 3, where the line 8 is placed in pairs of notches and in which the line 8 hangs down into the sea, alternating between either sides of the floating tube 1.

Figure 9 shows an embodiment having groups of three notches 7 in the attachment ridge 3 enabling the line to be laid twice through the attachment ridge and thus provide a more secure attachment due to increased friction, running generally from one to the opposite side of the floating tube 1.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the farming elements are formed by the line 8 of which points having a mainly equal first distance along the line 8 are attached in notches at a mainly equal second distance along the attachment ridge 3, and where the second distance is shorter than the first distance whereby the line will hang in loops or catenary line down from the attachment ridge. The shells may thus grow directly on the line.

According to another embodiment of the invention the farming elements 4 comprise cages 9 suspended from the line 8.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention at least one line is linked with mooring means 10 for mooring of the farming plant. Said mooring means may be in the form of a weight, but may according to a preferred embodiment comprise mooring elements 10 in the form of a chain as shown on Figure 2. Such chain provides a soft and variable weight load in that the chain links resting on the sea bed do not provide any anchoring weight, and thus provide a passive dampening of the vertical movements of the farming plant.

Figure 5 shows a preferred embodiment of the invention in which is arranged a preferably permanent inner tube 16 for air or water, designed to regulate the buoyancy of the buoyancy body 1 for air or water, being arranged within the buoyancy body 1 and extending mainly along the entire length of the buoyancy body. The inner tube 16 may constitute a fixed buoyancy body e. g. filled with solid buoyancy material or pressurized with air. According to a preferred embodiment shown in Fig. 4, an air hose 14 is arranged at the first end of the buoyancy body 1, intended to charge or discharge the buoyancy body with air. Figure 6 illustrates two alternative embodiments of an air hose 14; one connected to the inner tube 16, or one connected to the complimentary room within the buoyancy means outside the inner tube 16.

According to an embodiment of the invention the air hose 14 is arranged at a first end of the inner tube 16, intended to charge or discharge the inner tube 16, or that part of the buoyancy body 1 which is not constituted by the inner tube, with air, while a second end of the buoyancy body, opposite of said first end, is open to the sea and preferably arranged deeper than the first end as illustrated in Figure 4. Air may by such means be forced into the hose via a compressor above the sea level, through the air hose 14, arranged on the shallower end of the buoyancy means 1, for gradually charging it with air, forcing water out through the openings at the opposite end of the buoyancy means. In such manner the tube is elevated or lowered by letting air through the air hose 14. If the inner tube 16 is permanently filled with air or filled with a buoyant material, said pipe may provide the permanent buoyancy of the buoyancy means 1. On the other hand, the inner tube 16 may be connected to the air hose 14 and may be charged with or discharged of air, while the surrounding space in the buoyancy means 1 may be permanently filled with air or a buoyancy material (or also net floats, etc.) The permanent inner tube 16 may be substituted by such floats for permanent buoyancy, and the buoyancy body 1 may be designed to be charged with or discharged of air. The other end of the inner tube 1, opposite of the first end, may have an opening towards the sea, in case the inner tube is to be charged or discharged, preferably in the form of holes along the lower side of the inner tube 16 and the buoyancy body 1.

According to preferred embodiment the method for lowering a floating, elongated buoyancy body 1 to be used in aquatic farming plants may comprise the steps of providing the buoyancy body 1 with mooring elements 10 intended to rest on the sea bed and suspended from lines 8 having adapted

lengths, while the upper end of each line is attached to the buoyancy means 1 in such way that the second end of the buoyancy body 1 is in a deep position, while the first end of the buoyancy body 1, onto which the air hose 14 is connected is in a shallow position, and intended for submerging the second, opposite end by releasing air through the air hose 14 by letting out air at one end and letting in water at the opposite, open end of the buoyancy body 1.

On the embodiment illustrated in Figure 4, the buoyancy body is moored by means of mooring elements 10 resting on the sea bed and anchored by lines 8 having adapted lengths, the other end being in a more deeply submerged position, while the first end with the air hose is in a shallower position when submerged. The buoyancy body is designed for raising the first end initially by supplying air through the air hose 14, thereby forcing water out at the other, open end of the buoyancy body 1.

The farming elements 4 comprise rope, net mesh, a so- called"Swedish band", or a ladder line.

Figure 7 shows the buoyancy body 1 provided with a boom 18, intended to be transversely arranged with respect to the buoyancy means 1, having at least one completely or partly circular recess having a notch 17, intended to envelope the attachment ridge 3, and thereby to lock the buoyancy body 1 in such way that it counteract torsional loads, for example from unevenly distributed loads from the culture elements 4, the mooring arrangement, etc. According to the preferred embodiment the boom 18 extends over two or more buoyancy means 1.

According to the embodiment shown in Figure 8, knots or balls 20 may be provided on the line, intended to prevent the line 8 from slipping through notches 7 or the recesses 5 Figure 8 shows that at least one of the notches may be

skewed or angled in order to increase friction or the grip of the line 8.

A method for production of a farming tube comprising a buoyancy body 1 having a number of attachment means 2 arranged along what is intended to be the upper edge of the buoyancy body when in its normal floating position, for attachment of culture elements, in which the attachment means comprises a longitudinal attachment ridge 3 having a mainly rectangular cross sectional area, may according to the invention be performed by extrusion in one and same operation through a nozzle having a tube shaping extrusion opening, and where a recess is arranged at one outer edge of the extrusion opening for simultaneous extrusion of the attachment ridge 3.

The edge may be provided with open notches for attachment of either continuous lines, such as mussel collectors or ear-hung scallops or for example cages for oysters. Figure 2 shows in principle a cage 9 suspended from a line.

The tube may be lowered down to desired depth by attaching a vertical mooring line to the tube. The mooring line is securely attached to the tube and its length is adapted to the topography of the sea bed and to the depth at which the tube is intended to be submerged. When the tube is to be lifted up to the sea level, the mooring is lifted up from the sea bed, Fig. 4.

The buoyancy of the tube may be varied, since one end of the tube is provided with an air hose, through which compressed air is filled or withdrawn. At the other end the tube is provided with an open end to the sea through which air may be drawn or removed, ref. Figure 4. In order to enable such system to function, the buoyancy of the tube must be such that the tube, when filed with water will sink,

but not deeper than down to a depth where the vertical mooring elements reach the sea bed. This implies that the entire system, i. e. the tube and attached culture equipment, must have a positive buoyancy, but not greater than the weight of the moorings. In order to achieve sufficient buoyancy an additional inner tube, which may be filled with air, is inserted into the hose, ref. Figure 5. It is also feasible to interconnect chains of buoys which are thread into the tube, providing the same effect.

Two types of farming elements in the form of mussel collectors are commonly known; one type comprising a "ladder"consisting of rope and intermediate elements, and strips of net mesh. The mussels will attach themselves and grow to a commercial size in 1.5-2 years. This is meant as an example only. It is common to use only one type of collector. The collector is continuous and is arranged in zigzag over the ridge, hanging down in loops with length of a few metres down into the sea. Net mesh is commonly used for farming mussels. If such net mesh is inserted into two narrow notches on the ridge, a secure attachment of the net mesh is achieved. When harvesting, the net mesh is lifted vertically out of the notches in the ridge.