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Chapter: Aquaculture Engineering - Transport of Live Fish

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Air transport of Live Fish

Live fish may also be transported by helicopter or by aircraft. Because of the high cost this option is seldom used.

Air transport


Live fish may also be transported by helicopter or by aircraft. Because of the high cost this option is seldom used. Reasons for using air transport are mainly remote geographical conditions or bad infrastructure (roads, bridges), that make sea or land transport difficult and expensive.


 For restock-ing of lakes transport of live fish with small seaplanes is quite normal, but because of the low loading capacity (some hundreds of kilograms) this is not very useful in commercial aquaculture. Larger multi-engine aircraft can be used; in such cases seaplanes are equipped with large internal tanks for storing the fish, and pure oxygen gas is used. However, it is fry or small fish that are most often transported by air.

The use of helicopters is quite a new method for live fish transport. In one method, a large barrel of 400–500 l capacity filled with fish and water hangs on a wire below the helicopter.14,15 This is basically the same equipment as when using helicopters to fight fire. To fill the barrel, the helicopter lowers it and the fish and water are lifted in; to empty the barrel, the helicopter lowers it into the water and the fish are released by tilting the barrel. The heli-copter is maintained in flight throughout the entire loading and unloading procedure. This method may be a solution for fry/juvenile transport in areas with low quality roads and where the geographical conditions made long distance sea transport necessary.


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