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Flume Tank North Sea A/S

Europe’s biggest ocean simulator is a sought-after demonstration facility for innovative fishery equipment

Relentless innovation is a must in the fisheries sector to overcome challenges like excessive by-catch and seabed damage. Using the latest proven equipment, fishing vessels and sea-based fish farms can make their operations more efficient and sustainable.

Flume Tank North Sea A/S in northern Jutland is the go-to test facility for validating new gear before it goes on the market. The largest in Europe and the second largest in the world, the tank can demonstrate exactly how a new trawl door, fish cage and other devices will behave in the ocean. The tank can also detect unforseen errors with a negative impact on performance.

The tank can also detect unforeseen errors with a negative impact on performance

Real-time performance data

Precision testing relies on the tank’s ability to simulate ocean current and waves. Real-time performance measurements are then captured by an advanced 3D video setup. Along the tank’s clear sides, there is plenty of space for the large groups of international observers who regularly visit.

According to CEO Mette Hyldgaard Roussis, Flume Tank North Sea A/S serves as an important bridge between research, business and fishery authorities.

“The biggest value we provide is that our clients can see what’s happening in the water. They may need to ensure a certain piece of equipment meets legal requirements or to determine how to optimise it to improve safety. Or they may be working on an innovation project to develop a new type of net that reduces by-catch, for example. We give them a detailed report after each test.”

A centre of international renown

Most of the clients are big equipment suppliers from around the North Atlantic. Often they bring their own customers for a demonstration before finalising a sale. Other clients include Denmark’s National Institute of Aquatic Resources, which recently opened a new campus at the North Sea Science Park, where Flume Tank North Sea A/S is based. Fishery authorities also use the facility for training purposes.

From autumn 2024, it will become possible for visitors to view tank demonstrations via a new online platform. Mette Hyldgaard Roussis expects this to make the facility more useful to international organisations from further afield.

“The fishery sector must stay innovative to meet new requirements for protecting the marine environment. We are here to facilitate that continuous development so the industry can operate sustainably and profitably in the future.”