The base station
A base station is necessary for a sea cage farm (Fig. 21.29). This can be land based or sea based (lying on a raft), or it can be a combination of the two alternatives. The size and content of the base station depends on the size of the production unit and the management of the farm, including what services are bought from subcontractors. A base station may contain various pieces of equipment and storage facilities.
It is normal to have at least a wardrobe, toilet and mess room for the workers on the base. In addition there is a small workshop, or at least a place to have some tools.
Every farm also needs a system for taking care of the dead fish; to prevent them becoming an environmental problem, they must not be dropped into the water. A tank to which acid is added can be used, and the fish are ensiled (Fig. 21.30); the produce can, for example, be used to feed fur-bearing animals. The dead fish may also be stored in a cold-storage room, for later collection and utilization.
It is also normal to have a feed store on the base. A central feeding system may also be installed on the base. Feeding barges have become quite popular because they can be moved between sites
if the sites are fallowed. Common construction materials are steel or concrete; old ferries have proved quite popular as feeding barges.
The base, whether it is on land or sea, must be of a design that makes it easy for boats to dock. On a sea-based barge this is quite simple; if the base is on land a quay is necessary.
The base may or may not include net storage, net washing equipment and impregnation equipment. However, today it is quite common to employ subcontractors to do all the net handling and storage.