Fish farm monitoring

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The monitoring of what happens within a pen at a fish farm has progressively become a greater necessity for fisheries. As the complexity and importance of monitoring the relevant behaviour of the fish developed so did the engineering solutions.

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Fish farm monitoring

  1. 1. July | August 2012 Fish farm monitoring International Aquafeed is published five times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2012 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry
  2. 2. FEATURE FISH FARM MONITORING by Patrick Ruthven, Technical Sales, AC-CESS LtdT he monitoring of what happens the fish, but the feed pellets to see how much day use at the fish farms. However, the most within a pen at a fish farm has pro- is falling past the fish. Feed is expensive and notable of these developers was in one of the gressively become a greater neces- the pellets are quite small, they also come in world’s greatest salmon farming nations; Chile, sity for fisheries. As the complexity different ‘sink’ rates. with an AC-ROV distributor called Mariscope and importance of monitoring the relevant A pan and tilt camera on its own can only leading the way.behaviour of the fish developed so did the be moved manually however All Oceans engineering solutions. Engineering of Aberdeen, Scotland developed Chilean salmon farming a two winch system that can be moved over The southern region of the South- Traditional methods focussed around the full width and depth of a pen or tank. American continent is normally known as divers getting wet and dipping in to the tank, The pan and tilt camera is suspended on lines Patagonia. It is possible to distinguish between perhaps with waterproof cameras to record from the two winches. Operating the winches two ‘Patagonia’s’, the Argentinean side, and the data to be analysed later. This method together or separately greatly increases the the Chilean one. Due to the fact that there obviously has its draw backs as it is not practi- tank viewing options. are the Andes in between, both regions have cal or desirable for a diver to be in the pen a completely different climatology. for extended periods of time, which would Other inspection requirements This new concept is based on the fact have been needed if a true representation of There are however many other under- that the Argentinean part is mostly arid and what was going on was to be acquired. This water inspection requirements on fish farms. the Chilean side has a temperate-humid was why fish farms started to look for remote The above considered the ‘product’ while climatology. Similar to Norway, this area has visual inspection solutions to their monitoring the following considers the high value asset an immense amount of fjords and channels. needs. represented by the pens, anchors and envi- Hundreds of islands, including underwater Pan and tilt cameras have been used ronment. This is where All Oceans and volcanoes make this region unique in the extensively in fish farms throughout the world their associate company AC-CESS are again world and ideal for aquaculture activities. Due for monitoring the fish, feeding behaviour and providing support. The AC-ROV micro ROV to the pristine water, the strong currents, the condition of the fish within the farm environ- (Remotely Operated Vehicle) is a revolu- continuous water mass exchange and the ment. A problem with this is that they could tion in micro ROV design. Never before proximity to fresh water reservoirs, an impor-only set their pan and tilt cameras to a fixed had a company manufactured a robust and tant salmon farming industry has developed depth and location within their fish pens. manoeuvrable system that came in such a over the last three decades. The primary objective is to keep feeding small package as to be able to be deployed It started as a project in the early 80s, with for as long as possible, whilst wasting as little and operated by one person. This seems to very small wooden cages. The results were feed as possible. Operators need to watch be the perfect solution. so encouraging that a small industry followed. the fish feeding so that they can control the Distributors of products developed by Up to the end of the 90s, the salmon industry feed supply rate and in some cases the feed AC-CESS and its parent company All Oceans in Chile was growing fast. A lot of things specification. At the start of a feeding session, Engineering have also had success in imple- changed from the beginnings and the industry the fish are frantic at the surface, but as the menting the use of bespoke remote visual developed from a very artisan one to a very session progresses, the fish move down and inspection solutions for the monitoring of fish modern harvesting industry. progressively more and more of them stop in fish farms worldwide. In northern Europe By 2007, Chile produced as much salmon feeding. The operator wants to control the in Norway and Finland remote visual inspec- as Norway, some 600,000 tonnes per year. As feed supply rate by watching, not so much tion is increasingly being integrated into every a consequence, the net cages became bigger 38 | InternAtIonAl AquAFeed | July-August 2012
  3. 3. FEATURE EXPERT T●PIC and the moorings had to be stronger accord-project included four tilapia farms in China. These identify the key problems and causes related to in April, 2011. Over 40 farmers, processors, tech- ing to the stress of wind, waves and currents. farms represented both small- and commercial- water management. nicians and government officers attended the scale production facilities sites two different Huge harvesting utilising The second project is an assessment of the workshop. Participants found the workshop very production systems (pond and cages). Aside from regional environmental impacts of fish farm clusters, informative and helpful. This enhanced the produc- The difference in Chile is that the harvest-identifying similarities and differences among criteria which will be jointly conducted by SFP and Hainan ers’ awareness of increasing demands for certified ing sites are far bigger than anywhere else in and requirements used by the three standards, Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, the sustainable seafood from overseas markets, thus the world. With nets of 50 m in diameter and this project also identified outstanding issues in the leading environmental research institute in Hainan. further facilitating the engagement of Chinese up to 40 – 45 m deep, the amount of salmon per cage reached 150 – 200 tonnes and The study will examine the potential for regional stakeholders into a supply-chain dialogue around farms, which most producers were able to address as a result of the trial audit. To date, all four farms scale improvement by looking at carrying capacity sustainability. more. The biggest production sites had up are now certified under one or more of the com- and the potential for zoning in a specific area. to 36 such cages per module and sometimes SFP is currently working with local institutes of mercial aquaculture standards. These huge sites As more first-hand data becomes available aquaculture and environmental sciences to identify three modules in parallel. had to widely acknowledged for weights of up (along with a more in-depth understanding of and evaluate both qualitatively and quantitatively SFP is be moored with dead its expertise to 20 tonnes each, sometimes with more than existing policies and management measures), the the environmental impacts of tilapia farming in by stakeholders in Chinese tilapia, including key US and European buyers and retailers, as well as AIP will establish a working group that convenes Hainan. This includes an ecological study as well as 700 tonnes of weight for each site. The deep fjords combined with strong currents and the the key buyers, suppliers and producers along the socio-political analysis to advise local governments producers and processors in China, aquaculture institutes, industry associations, and local Chinese Chinese tilapia supply-chain to share the scientific and industrial associations about how to efficiently action of waves made completely new moor-governments. Given the high level of trust that SFP findings. The AIP will then form a multi-stakeholder address the environmental issues associated with ing designs necessary. Problems arose, since enjoys with the tilapia supply chain it was appropri- policy roundtable to further discuss the problems tilapia farming in Hainan. The preliminary results will often the more than 1 km long mooring lines ate that a tilapia Aquaculture Improvement Project and solutions. The AIP participants will eventually be shared with key stakeholders at the Aquaculture crossed each other during installation and suf- fered damage during the operation. Accidents agree on the actions and timetables necessary to Policy Roundtable this fall in China. (AIP) was officially launched in 2011. in order to complete their diet. Therefore have to fight day in day out with the extreme with total or partial loss of harvesting sites and achieve the sustainability objectives defined by SFP has now initiated two research projects salmon farmers need to protect the net cages area is also developing in. In comparison, SFP they are located partnerships with to millions of dollars in fish loss resulted from a the group. SFP will play a leading role in engaging Chinese universities and large feed manufacturers is assess the impact of tilapia farming on the with special sea lion nets that involve the the maximum current velocity in Norway external environment. The first project, started stakeholders, providing scientific advice and facilitat- to around 0.5 knots in salmon producing areas. lack of inspection of the underwater environ- original nets. improve feed sourcing for tilapia farming in in April 2011, involves monitoring water qual- ing communication. ment and installations. Extreme weather conditions with very fast To complete the image before we look at China. This work is to be undertaken through ity on selected farms in Hainan province, and the ROVs in this context, a couple of other research projects on improving lot of ocean and changing winds (there is a feeding efficien- Extreme conditionswas undertaken by the Hainan Institute of Up-to-date progress aspects have to be explained. The harvesting cy very few land masses at these latitudes) are and developing alternative feeds with fewer Aquaculture. Dozens of water quality param- Since this harvesting happens in Patagonia, SFP has worked closely with local tilapia associa- just another problem of working in this area. sites are all located in relatively protected impacts on wild fisheries. there are some peculiarities related with this inshore waters, not in the open Pacific Ocean. eters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD), tions to assess different tilapia standards that are nitrogen and phosphorus content, and heavy available in the market. A workshop all but calm. More InforMatIon: ROVs region at the world’s end: in this case the sea Nevertheless, these waters are introducing Introducingmetals were analysed for five farms over two three international standards for tilapia farming, i.e. Sustainable Fisheries Partnership started to ask for lions. These predators find it most interesting With currents of up to five knots and depth Insurance companies croppings (10 months). The study helped BAP, GlobalGAP, and ASC, was held in Haikou Website: www.sustainablefish.org sites were moored to attack the cages filled up with salmons over 500 m, salmon producing companies better control after the Providing proficient tools to achieve cost-effective and sustainable aquaculture practices ECOBIOL Aqua a highly effective single strain probiotic GUSTOR Aqua a natural growth promoter BIOMET Aqua an organic mineral source rl Natuna trition u NOREL,S.A. • Jesús Aprendiz, 19, 1º A y B • 28007 Madrid (SPAIN) Tel. +34 91 501 40 41 • Fax +34 91 501 46 44 • www.norel.es July-August 2012 | InternAtIonAl AquAFeed | 39
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  5. 5. FEATUREand during the operational time. Additional to inspect the sea lion nets and to repair disinfection processes before and after leaving problems arose through heavy bio-fouling, them. Since these nets sometimes reach as the fish pens. For many fish farms this asserted increasing the weight of the nets by four to deep as 70 m, dive time is reduced also reduc- ROVs as the most cost effective and simple five times their original mass. This was the ing the cost effectiveness of using a diver. solution for monitoring. moment where ROVs appeared on the scene. Through lax regulations and control divers Some of the larger companies, such as Mariscope started with the first inspections for very often suffer severe injuries from the long Marine Harvest, have developed ROVs to the insurance companies around 2002. and deep exposure and mortality among the clean away the dead fish killed by disease from Initially just a couple of mooring lines industry divers still remains relatively high. As the bottom of the nets using ‘lift up’ suction were inspected from the top buoy to the a consequence ROVs started to be used per- tubes attached to the ROVs. Additionally, seabed. These inspections demonstrated a manently for the net inspections. The divers over the years there has been an accumula- tion of rubbish under the net cages. Since this and bio-fouling continues to be a problem and also the copper based antifouling paints are decaying, ROVs are used to clean the nets while installed. More and more, ROVs are changing from purely inspection systems to light work class units that are able to pick up materials, carry instruments or carry out cleaning tasks. Next Generation ROVs At Mariscope, System Integration is the basis for new ROVs. These vehicles have a completely different concept from standard light work class ROVs. Normally these types of vehicles are equipped with one or at best two manipulators, a tracking device and some kind of sonar. If you then have a couple of laser pointers and a HDTV camera on board, you are already at the top of the range. In the case of the new generation of light work class ROVs, the vehicles are equipped with a wide range of oceanographic measuring devices. You can think of them as small underwater research vessels. Sensors like CO2, H2S, Oil in Water CTDs, Turbidity and Chla just to name a few, are installed on board and low- ered under the cages, where other systems can not get to. Here, under the cages, the sediments grow and are contaminated due to the activities on the surface and are the focus for new diseases. Measurements will help the producers to take the correct decisions for the future of their sites. But these underwater labs are also useful in other branches like offshore, research, pol- lution detection, salvage operation and others. The more real data you have, the better you will be able to take operational decisions. Modern, high efficient microprocessor based ROV electronics, coupled with high-end sen- sors and measuring devices are opening a lot of problems in the way moorings were that had been diving for years repairing and new world of opportunities for light work deployed. Big risks for the salmon companies inspecting the nets can now be found operat- class and micro-ROVs. ■and for the insurance companies appeared. ing the ROVs. More and more, complete and periodical Over the last couple of years, the fish inspections took place, reducing the amount farming industry in Chile suffered from several AC-CESSof accidents and the risk of losing sites and diseases, some of them as a result of over Tel: +44 1224 790100stock. production and increased stock density. The Fax: +44 1224 790111 Additionally, mooring companies had the industry was hardest hit in 2007 after the Email: patrick@ac-cess.compossibility to check their work and learn how infectious salmon anemia outbreak, which Website: www.ac-cess.comto change procedures to be more efficient. depleted stocks drastically. Mariscope Following this, laws in Chile were changed Website: www.mariscope.clDivers to ROVs so that divers and the equipment that serv- Divers had been used since the beginning iced the divers had to go through stringent 40 | InternAtIonAl AquAFeed | July-August 2012
  6. 6. This digital re-print is part of the July | August 2012 edition of International LINKSAquafeed magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a fullonline magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features onthe docstoc website.Please click here to view our other publications on www.docstoc.com. VO L U M E 1 5 I S S U E 4 2 0 1 2 • See the full issue Tough environment produces world’s best Barramundi EXPERT TOPIC - Tilapia • Visit the International Aquafeed website – a collection of articles creating a worldwide perspective Noise – a source of stress for farmed fish • Contact the International Aquafeed Team Enzymes – Unlocking the hidden potential of plant proteins using solid state fermentation technology Enzymes to improve water and soil quality in • Subscribe to International Aquafeed aquaculture ponds THE INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE FOR THE AQUACULTURE FEED INDUSTRYIAF12.04.indd 1 19/07/2012 17:15To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paperedition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the linkabove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE www.aquafeed.co.uk

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