Project to estimate biomass in fish farms
The project aims to efficiently calculate the total biomass of fish in offshore farms
A project to efficiently calculate the total biomass of fish in offshore farms has completed its first stage.
Aquaculture companies require precise measurements of the number and size of fish they contain in their farms, so that the tasks of feeding and crop protection can be properly managed. However, existing technologies do not offer the precision needed to avoid those losses.
The first stage of this research, undertaken by the Business Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers of Spain (APROMAR), the Andalusian Aquaculture Technology Centre, CTAQUA, and the Research Institute for Integrated Coastal Zone Management from the University of Valencia, has focused on the evaluation existing technologies that could best meet the project objectives.
After a period of state-of-the-art analysis, the team concluded that aquaculture can achieve significant progress by using hydroacoustic monitoring systems, since this technique could allow sufficiently precise measurements of the fish biomass. The equipment allows communication wirelessly with other environmental control devices and could even generate early warnings in case of significant decrease of biomass (escapes or disease episodes).
BioSonics, Inc. (USA), a company with experience in providing solutions for monitoring the biological and physical characteristics in the aquatic environment, has been selected to collaborate actively in this project.
The work of BioSonics is focused on the design of robust equipment to be installed in the offshore farms, deployment of the hydroacoustic equipment, data processing, analysis and reporting. The project is designed to evaluate the suitability of this technology for application in seabass and seabream aquaculture farms.
In the course of the coming months it is expected to have the results of the tests performed this summer. Although final evaluation is not available yet, it is likely that hydroacoustic technology will become a standard management tool for the Mediterranean aquaculture industry.
This two year project has a budget of € 214,000, and the final results will be announced in February 2014.
Images for this article - click to enlarge
Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright © Mercator Media 2013. This does not exclude the owner's assertion of copyright over the material.