A company based in New Zealand’s Tasman District has begun a one-year research trial aimed at reducing the number of mussel floats that get lost at sea each year.
Aquaculture float specialist SS Floats is partnering with the country’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to devise an improved float and attachment method for longline mussel farming.
The new design is expected to be able to withstand the unpredictability of open waters better than the existing floats. SS Floats lead designer Paul Smith said the old design proved satisfactory for over 40 years, as mussel farming in New Zealand began in sheltered bays. However, the move by mussel farming companies to more exposed waters meant that a new design was necessary.