In all four corners of the globe, the human appetite for seafood continues to rise. Finfish and shellfish now account for one-sixth of all the animal protein consumed by the world’s meat-eating population.To meet this overwhelming demand, fish farms have scaled at such rapid rates they’ve begun overproducing. This overproduction has caused imbalances in water quality, increases in fish diseases, and an overall decline in aquatic product quality.
Furthermore, the industry is anticipating an inevitable labor shortage as the age profile for fish farmers is higher than average. Fish farms need to modernize their methods to remain competitive as things change.
With the increases in demand and environmental protection, traditional aquaculture systems are no longer viable, and more sustainable solutions are being explore to address the industry’s most critical challenges. Thus, contemporary technology is being incorporate into fish farming workflows, and the concept of intelligent aquaculture is beginning to take the industry by storm.
What is Intelligent Aquaculture?
Intelligent aquaculture is a mode of production operating within a network of advanced solutions. Its infrastructure is mainly power by IoT, AI, sensors, and big data. Smart fish farms utilize information technology to independently control, streamline, and optimize the daily operations of aquatic farms, such as increasing oxygen, optimizing feeding, reducing diseases in marine life, accurately harvesting, and more.
Smart fish farms would not be possible without the deployment of IoT, which connects devices that collects critical data regarding the farm. Crucially, this helps ensure that the fish are produce sustainably. Aquaculture organizations can promote their eco-friendly endeavors, boost their brand image, and ultimately appeal to today’s forward-thinking Generation-Z consumer audience by protecting their product’s quality of life. This key demographic of young adults is known to champion businesses that actively protect the environment, so it is critical to have them on the side.
Contemporary fish farming concepts and management strategies, such as Aquaculture 4.0, are regularly update to handle the ongoing problems caused by water rate imbalance. By quelling this issue, the likelihood of fish farms being stricken with disease instantly decreases. The decline of marine product quality is subsequently slow down or, in some cases, halted entirely.
Benefits of Digital Farming
There are many benefits of digital farming, one being enhanced operational clarity.
With a deep learning digital farming solution at hand, fish farmers are granted access to critical information at all points in the product lifecycle and sales process. Having this level of visibility into operations means they can monitor the ongoing efficiency of their fishery and the trends (trade projection, rival prices, consumption rates, advertising insights, etc.) currently disrupting their consumer market.
With all of this critical info at their disposal, aquaculture professionals can optimize their future fish farming choices using a data-driven decision-making (DDDM) process. As well as enhancing their ability to halt downward trends, this will also help them establish themselves as thought leaders.
Important Features of Intelligent Aquaculture
Intelligent aquaculture leverages innovative equipment that eliminates the need for human interference. Intelligent systems automate and optimize processes such as managing the complete breeding and grow‐out lifecycle of farmed species, circulating water treatment and water quality monitoring, precise feeding, net washing, counting, fishing, classification, and more. Below we list the advanced technologies supporting the infrastructure of intelligent farming:
When uneaten food is left to float in the water, the toxicity levels found within the fish farming environment increase, negatively impacting the growth of the fish, the health of those that consume this product, and the fish farm’s ecosystem. Sensor technology is proving to be particularly useful in the fight against water pollution and toxicity levels.
Presence sensors operate at different heights in the water, and detection sensors are placed within the drainage tubes. These light-dependent resistors monitor the water for the pixel rate rising above a pre-set parameter. When this unit is reached, food presence is indicated, and the operator is alerted to the potential toxicity.
Several intelligent tools are integrate into the day-to-day fish farming operations to automate different production processes and save on extensive labor costs. These tools include nano-sensors, bionic robotics, innovative sorting solutions, and energy-saving processors.
These tools communicate via IoT technology. With this framework in place, aquaculture professionals can implement systems that don’t require human intervention, operating ground that provides seamless network coverage, positioning accuracy, and multi-network integration in real-time.
Big Data and Cloud Computing
By combing big data and cloud computing, fish farmers can acquire, mine, and classify critical pieces of aquaculture data. The fish farm’s operational data is readily available at all times, proving useful when making strategic business decisions.
Systems such as Jala, XpertSea, and Manolin are leading the charge of big data within the aquaculture industry. With deep learning integration, extensive operation-specific data is generate within seconds. Importantly, this helps farmers monitor potential disease outbreaks and overall operations efficiently and effectively.
The cloud enables coherent data access at any time, from anywhere. From broodstock production right the way through to customer service, the real-time data that is collect can be use to alert managers to potential inefficiencies across the board.
Internet-connect 5G sensors are being use to gather information about pH, oxygen, and water temperature levels within salmon cages, helping to optimize salmon farming operations across the globe. These technologies are allowing farmers to take an integrated approach to aquaculture. They can treat their salmon as individuals, supporting each fish’s unique health requirements. Crucially, this helps pinpoint parasite problems (i.e., lice) and provide each of their salmon with a bespoke level of effort-, time- and cost-effective treatment.
Aquaculture is currently undergoing a robotics revolution. Underwater drones, automated feeders, and remote-controlled cage structures are just a few of the robotic devices fish farmers can now use to increase their workflow.
Robotic devices are being leverage to streamline several fish farming tasks that heavy-hand humans often struggle to perform. Crucially, this reduces the amount of stress the fish experience during the daily feeding/cleaning operation. This technological ‘level up’ is quickly becoming an indispensable element of modern aquaculture.
Modern robotics are capable of removing bio-foul in an effective and automated manner, keeping farms clean and, in turn, accelerating the product growth process.
Enabling Intelligent Aquaculture with Integrated AI Systems
Aquaculture wouldn’t be possible without system integration technology. With an intelligent integration framework in place, multiple pieces of fish farming equipment, subsystems, and solutions can operate in a unified manner. Integrated systems create a complete and whole aquaculture framework capable of meeting exact user requirements.
Artificial intelligence plays a fundamental role in the implementation of intelligent frameworks. Precision AI alleviates many prevalent aquaculture pain points, one being fish identification. Smart integration enables mass estimation (size measurement, numerical counting, quality assessment, etc.) and behavioral monitoring. Integrating AI drives interconnectivity, which profoundly affects the overarching aquaculture system, impacting critical functions such as feeding, lighting, visibility, environmental stability, and reproduction.
The Importance of Aquaculture Software
As water filtration and circulation systems continue to develop, the scope for scalability within the fish farming sector will only grow larger.
Fish farming’s market value is expect to double in size, scale, and production efficiency within 15 years, primarily because modern aquaculture 4.0 tech facilitates indoor smart agriculture. Yes, you read that correctly – fish farming, indoors!
To stay afloat (let alone make a killing!) within their niche aquaculture sector, fish farmers across the globe are now being urge to reform their integrate systems. As aquaculture shifts further towards full-scale tech automation, the implementation of modern AI, 5G, and IoT software grows more and more necessary.