Annalin Fasting and Maiken Svinøy are two of the four biologists at Cflow. During their studies at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Ålesund, they had not envisaged that they would have the opportunity to work in an industrial company. However, nowadays, they work closely with various professions in Cflow, focussing on fish welfare at all stages.
Creating the Best Solutions for Fish Welfare
“This has been described as true pioneering work,” Annalin explains. “There are not that many biologists working in industrial companies. For those of us in Cflow, it is incredibly interesting to see how we can make the most of the multi-disciplinary skills found in this company.”
“We are involved in many different processes and with everyone who works here,” Maiken says. “We are included at every stage from product design to final delivery.”
“For example, in production, we can take part in the discussion about what type of weld should be used and then view the surface finish of the products. We are often consulted on quality assurance, and we are part of the design or redesign process of new equipment,” Maiken continues.
“As biologists we also work on a number of projects in the Cflow’s in-house R & D Department,” Annalin tells us. “Every day is different and full of all sorts of situations,” she laughs.
“When a boat docks at the quayside, we often go aboard to talk with the people using our equipment on a daily basis,” Annalin goes on. “We learn a lot from feedback about our equipment. The experience of the end-user is very valuable to us in our ongoing work.”
Industry, Biology and Sustainability
“We have already learnt so much from working at Cflow, thanks to everyone working here,” Annalin emphasises. “We have felt welcome from our very first day. Enjoying your work is highly motivational and it makes learning even more interesting.”
“The industrial aspect was new to us,” Maiken points out. “We quickly learnt a new technical terminology and gained knowledge of dimensions, elbows and pipes. It’s exciting trying to tie this in with biology!”
“As we are so young, it could be said that we are more concerned with sustainability and the environment than previous generations,” Maiken declares. “It’s in our blood. And that’s why it’s important for us that we end up in a company that is future-oriented, and focusses on innovative solutions that may have a positive effect on the environment. In the R & D Department, we consider how to improve equipment in light of fish welfare and the marine environment.”
Photo: Hilde Hurlen
Sea Urchin Farming
“Sea urchins are a delicacy in large parts of Asia, especially Japan,” Maiken adds. “Unfortunately sea urchins are an environmental issue in that they eat seaweed and kelp. When the kelp forest disappears, marine life changes, which in turn destroys the areas for fish larvae and spawning. The young fish no longer have areas where they can mature, and these parts of the sea become lifeless.”
“A sea floor without seaweed and kelp can be compared to a desert,” Maiken goes on to explain. “If the sea urchins aren’t harvested, they will continue eating the kelp forest. The seaweed also plays an important part in binding CO2, which in turn limits the acidification of the sea.”
“In Cflow, we have therefore developed a system for farming sea urchins,” Annalin reveals. “The sea urchins are fed in land-based factories until they are full of roe and can be sold. In this way, we can say that we are making a difference to the environment, whilst also facilitating the supply of a popular, commercial product.”
“Through internal training in the various departments of Cflow, we teach the others in our area of expertise,” Maiken goes on. “Our focus is mainly how the equipment affects the fish. One colleague once told us that we are the HSE officers on behalf of the fish, and I think that is a good way to view our role.”
“Through the Cflow Academy, we create a common basis for discussing improvements of solutions,” Annalin concludes. “For example, how Cflow can construct pipes that are even gentler on the fish or how we can be efficient without it being at the expense of the welfare of the fish.”Photo:Hilde Hurlen