Surface line systems

In a surface line production system, filter-feeding animals are grown on structures placed in the water column.

Characteristics of surface line systems

Surface line aquaculture systems are made up of a series of parallel ropes buoyed at the surface with floats and anchored to the sea bed.

Animals are grown in panel-style baskets, small cages or on ropes that are suspended below floating surface lines.

Rows of lines and floats are normally visible on the surface but are usually coloured so that they blend into the surroundings.

The sea bed remains free of obstacles (except for anchor points) and natural processes can take place beneath the farm. Environmental impact from surface line culture is reduced through correct location and adequate spacing of lines to minimise benthic (bottom) disturbance.

Suitable species for surface lines

Surface line culture is generally used to grow shellfish, such as pearl oysters, scallops and mussels, tunicates, seaweeds and sponges.

Things to consider

Surface line aquaculture is designed to reduce any negative impacts on aquatic wildlife. Lines are kept taut and are well spaced to reduce the risk of entanglement.

Last reviewed
November 8, 2013

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