Taking care of the lumpfish

Estro is working on the challenge of taking care of the lumpfish used in aquaculture industry. With the new product SeaNest they have rounded 100 units in the market on a large-scale test. Big customers like Marine Harvest are placing new orders based on the test results so far. 2019 looks promising.

Lumpfish is the most used cleaner fish in the fight against lice in aquaculture. It is found throughout the Norwegian coast and is an important tool for salmon health in the fishfarms. Estro contributes with improving fish health and thereby increases profit. The product “SeaNest” makes life easier not only for lumpfish, but also for people and the environment.

Offers less stress at Marine Harvest

With customers like Marine Harvest and NovaSea, Estro has already shown themselves as an important contributor in the farming industry. What they deliver? SeaNest is a «cleaner fish habitat», that offers the lumpfish less stress and more rest. When the lumpfish has good living conditions, the effectiveness of the fight against lice raises.

It is flexible with good attenuation for the fish. No big movements in waves. Easy to handle relative to artificial tare, says customer Marine Harvest.

Lumpfish is used in most aquaculture facilities, and according to new regulations, it is required to take care of them.

With help from SeaNest you take care of farmed fish, cleaner fish, people as well as the environment. You can see how the habitat works here.

A small company with big impact on the fish farming industry

The engineer Trond Marøy and industry designer Espen Øvreeide, founded Estro together in 2016. They have spent the two last years developing several products to the fish farming industry.

We have done everything from A to Z, we have developed, designed, prototype-produced, tested, small scale (100+) produced and delivered the product to the end customer, says Marøy.

Estro became aware of a need for the industry. Their previous solutions did not work well enough and there was too much waste of lumpfish. The breeders needed a holistic idea where one could take care of the fish, the environment and the people who work in the fish farms. The product should be easy to use, not be harmful to the environment, in addition to its primary task – to attend to fish health. SeaNest is more environmentally friendly than its alternatives, because there are no loose plastic parts. What you place into the water, is the same you pull back up.

Testing the SeaNest

This spring, Estro delivered multiple SeaNests to the fish farm company NovaSea, with great success.

When you reach out to the customer, they are very responsive for testing well thought out solutions, that will make their everyday easier, says Marøy.

At Marine Harvest, Estro was given a challenging test, stating that SeaNest had to handle strong underwater currents up to 1.5-2 m / s. This was an extreme test, where other equipment had failed. After a couple of weeks, the SeaNest was filmed under water. The system was tightly packed with lumpfish, despite the strong underwater currents. So, they passed the test. This led to Marine Harvest placing more orders, as well as expanding the test area to Rogaland.

This is the biggest thing that has happened to Estro. This is a milestone. The system is working, but it is too soon to say how great the effect of the system will be on the mortality of the lump fish, says Marøy.

This autumn, they deliver over a hundred SeaNests to paying customers, as a part of the big scale test.

We also signed a delivery to Skretting, one of the biggest fishfoodproducers in the world. An exciting and important project, with a bit different angle to the solution, Marøy tells us.

Product designer tried to live as a lumpfish for three months

 What I did was imagining how a lumpfish experiences their natural environment and try to recreate the biggest values they prefer in a constructed shed, product designer Espen Øvreeide tells us eagerly.

The “blind” where the lumpfish rests is ergonomically designed which means good attenuation for the fish, Marøy adds.

When Marøy and Øvreeide aren’t out visiting customers, they hold offices at Bergen Teknologioverføring (BTO) in Nyskapingsparken. Hanne Vabø Sæle and Torstein Skage, both Business Developers in BTO, has helped Estro with growth strategy, sales strategy, financing and investors work, coupling with suppliers, and have also contributed with the composition of the board. The network Connect Vest BAN has invested in the SeaNest, inclusive BTO.

Vision: Leading within developing sustainable solutions.

Mission: Increase sustainability, create welfare and simplify the managing of lumpfish.

Facts: In a fishfarm with 100 000 salmon, they have 20 percent cleaner fish. 50-100 percent of these are lumpfish. It is the third biggest farmed fish in Norway.