Hatchery International

Brought to you by Fuerste Vaccination Services/PHARMAQ Fishteq
Advantages of NFT Vaccination Machines

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April 24, 2024 in Features
By Blair Billard, Fuerste Vaccination Services and Hanne Andersen, PHARMAQ Fishteq

NFT machine

A practice which started in the US during 1970’s and has now spread globally, fish vaccination has become a normal practice within the aquaculture farming industry.  Vaccination has been proven to be so effective, in some countries it is against regulations to transfer unvaccinated fish to the sea.

Finding a vaccination solution that fits into your production regime can be challenging as there are many options to choose from and methodology is changing rapidly. With a push to modern fish cultivation, the industry is witnessing significant changes as facilities move towards utilizing more automated equipment. Farming more efficiently also means farming with a higher focus on fish welfare. Better fish welfare will normally result in higher growth rates and a high-quality end product, this will in turn yield significant economic advantages.

PHARMAQ Fishteq has been at the forefront of providing vaccination solutions to aquaculture facilities for nearly two decades. The core product of our offerings is the NFT vaccination and sorting machine. Our story started in Norway around 2005 with a focus on salmon vaccination, we have experienced substantial growth since then and now have more machines outside of Norway than within. We are present on several continents, including North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia pacific region. PHARMAQ Fishteq currently have approx. 116 machines in the market. The NFT machines are trusted by aquaculture experts worldwide.



Fuerste Vaccination Services, is the exclusive North American distributor of NFT machines. FVS has been based since 2011 in the aquaculture hub of Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. Partnering with Fuerste Vaccination Services shows our dedication to providing quality services, as they bring two decades of industry expertise to the table. FVS provides sale, setup, repair and maintenance and operation of the NFT machines depending on the market and needs of each facility. Currently there are 11 NFT machines in North America vaccinating salmon and trout.


NFT – Key Features

  • Semi automated vaccination machine, requires 1-2 operators per machine.
  • The NFT can easily handle multiple vaccine combinations in one single operation.
  • Full capacity is 9000 vaccinated fish per hour. For those with higher demands, a dual-machine setup will double the capacity to an impressive 18,000 fish per hour.
  • The NFT can handle fish ranging from 120mm to 250mm in length, approx. 25 -150 grams.
  •  The machine is manufactured for durability in acid proof steal and can withstand saltwater.
  • The NFT machines can with some adaptation handle a spectrum of fish species: salmon, trout, whitefish, arctic charr, sea bass/bream, tilapia, yellowtail, and cod.
  • Dimensions for one NFT machine: Length: 2,360 mm, Width: 1,272 mm, Height: 1,860 mm. Weight: 350 kg
  • Sorts fish into three different sizes post vaccination.


NFT machine


Joint Support

Choosing the NFT machine for your vaccination needs offers a significant advantage: ongoing support. Regardless of the machine you use, you will encounter issues at some point. Choosing a machine that has been on the market since 2005 means benefiting from years of problem-solving and machine upgrades. This length of experience enables us to offer a highly robust machine and provide our technicians with invaluable insights across various species and markets. Joint support between both FVS and Fishteq ensures a customer focused support system with full coverage of all time zones in North America. FVS maintains a supply of parts in their Campbell River warehouse, minimizing downtime, shipping and saving production loss. Knowledgeable and well-trained personnel is one of our highest priorities. FVS can seamlessly address any challenges that may arise during equipment installation, operation, or maintenance.


Seamless operation

After sedation, the fish are transferred to the vaccination table and operators gently place the fish into the machine’s designated fish pockets. Once inside, the machines take charge, photographing each fish and allowing the computer and camera equipped with Fish Vision to identify and determine the optimal injection points. Another advantage of choosing NFT machine vaccination is the ability to vaccinate fish with greater size variation within the group. This is due to the dynamic adjustable needle length which means: bigger fish equals a longer needle.

All NFT models have the same size and appearance, but each model has different components to deliver different quantities and combinations of vaccines. No matter what model you choose, you can put two machines together for higher efficiency. The full capacity for two machines is 18 000 vaccinated fish per hour with all vaccination data transferred or emailed to a local computer for tracking purposes.

Post-vaccination, fish can be automatically sorted into three different sizes based on parameters set by the operator. The NFT system even identifies and removes any misplaced fish, providing operators with a second chance to correctly position them. The efficiencies of multiple, simultaneous injections with the NFT Machines means the fish are out of water for less time compared to hand vaccination, and actual handling is kept to a minimum. All this means that the fish recover from the anesthetic quicker, are less stressed and typically begin feeding again within hours.

The NFT machine requires fewer operators than traditional hand vaccination and requires less training for the average operator.  This significantly lowers running costs and increases flexibility of vaccination planning for the production team. Its design prioritizes easy access for cleaning, ensuring optimal hygiene standards and enhancing biosecurity measures.



Testimonial from Juan Carlos Sanchez Millar
Freshwater Director – MOWI Canada West:

“We have been vaccinating our fish with Fuerste Vaccination by hand for nine years and since they moved into using vaccination machines our daily targets have increased in both accuracy and daily number of vaccinated fish. This has allowed us to have less starve days and a faster recovery.
Fuerste Vaccination has a good maintenance program and spare parts available for the vaccination machines, which is extremely important to minimize any downtime that will affect our production targets and vaccination schedule.”

Testimonial from Reidar Våge, MOWI

“By removing manual vaccination, we have removed the human element, which means the injection of the vaccine and its position are of a higher quality.”


Contact us today to explore more about our NFT vaccination machines and to inquire about pricing.

Fuerste Vaccination Services

Bill Billard headshot

Blair Billard, Business Operations Manager
Phone: 250-203-0914
Mail: bbillard@fuerstevaccinations.com
Website: NFT 20 & 30 | fuerstevaccination (fuerstevaccinations.com)

Fuerste Vaccination logo



Hanne Andersen headshot
Hanne Andersen, Sales Manager
Phone: +47 48164344
Mail: hanne.andersen@zoetis.com
Website: FISHTEQ (pharmaq.com)


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