The Importance of Geomembrane Liners for Aquaculture

Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, it’s also known as fishing or shell fishing. This can occur in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments; underwater agriculture.

Aquaculture Operations in Thailand

ThailandAquacultureOperationsLocated at the intersection of water and agriculture can be found the massive global scale industry that is aquaculture.  As the world’s population craves higher and higher volumes of protein in its diet, aquaculture ‘crops’ like shrimp have become increasingly vital.  Although most often associated with Southeast Asia, aquaculture is truly a world-wide phenomenon.  See website for a global map of ‘best practices’ aquaculture facilities.  It often surprises people, just how large an aquaculture industry exists throughout North America and the north-western part of South America. With that being said, Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, still dominates the scene globally.

Reinforced polyethylene coated woven geomembranes find application within the world of aquaculture. This provides short to medium term (i.e. 2 to 5 years) shallow water containment of the harvesting operation.  Many studies have shown that lined facilities result in healthier ‘crops’, due mainly to the prevention and mitigated of disease from underlying soils. Healthier crops result in bigger yields to the producer whether the crops are shrimp or fish, etc.
The “value proposition” for use of coated woven geomembrane products as liners in aquaculture is obvious:

  • Flexible
  • High strength to weight
  • Ability to be fabricated in to large panels
  • Field weld-able
  • Economical


Similar to standard agriculture, in aquaculture particularly, “economical” is the key.    At one end of the spectrum are sophisticated heavy duty long term use concrete or relatively thick geomembrane lined facilities.  A large number of production facilities globally are still un-lined, dirt bottomed ponds.  For everything else in between lies the realm of operations where economically lined coated woven lagoons provide the appropriate value proposition to the owner/operator.

Although seemingly ‘cheap’ in relative terms, quality of the geomembrane is still paramount.  The facility owner/operator should look for manufacturers that can claim GAI Lap certification of its quality control related processes.

In particular, InterWrap’s RhinoMat 1000 is a reinforced polyethylene geomembrane that offers exceptional hydrostatic resistance for buried and underburied containment application, which would be great for aquaculture because it offers superior strength and flexibility making it a perfect liner. The ability to prefabricate large panels reduces installation time and minimizes seams made in the field. RhinoMat 1000 light weight and durability offers excellent physical properties able to withstand both the install and day-to-day wear and tear. The specifically engineered UV package withstands all weather conditions even in the harshest of environments. Our RhinoMat product line is both NSF61 approved and fish safe for all species.

For applications where liquid containment is critical, RhinoMat’s durable and lightweight construction, combined with our Surflex technology for superior welding characteristics, will give you maximum performance in all climates and environmental conditions.

All data and information appearing on this site is anecdotal in nature, reflecting the contributor’s personal experience and not fact-based research and, therefore, to be used for information purposes only. Read full disclaim