A connected aquaculture: Water quality management
Connected objects are starting to invade our homes and our everyday lives. More and more trade professions are now using connected objects to improve their production. They are now used to check on their production data instantly and anywhere they want in order to take immediate actions.
Would it not be great to be able to instantaneously check the status of water quality? To receive alerts on smartphone at the minute one of the water quality parameters is getting out of range? Today it is possible. Bioceanor, a French company, is proposing devices and services for a connected water quality management.
Nowadays, we know that fisheries management totally relies on water quality monitoring. Fish diseases are frequent and directly impact the harvest yield. Low water quality can also impact fish growth and delay the harvest. Optimum fish production is totally dependent on the physical, chemical and biological qualities of water—no matter the type of facility.
Therefore, good water quality is the key to success in fishery management. It is determined by variables such as temperature, turbidity, carbon dioxide, pH, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc. For applications in open seas, we also know that changes can occur very quickly and are not easily predictable.
Checking water parameters at one time of the day does not prevent a critical change (algae bloom, sediments resuspension, lack of oxygen) to occur the next hour, with consequences to fish production, if not detected soon enough.
To tackle these problems, Bioceanor produces water quality monitoring devices (AquaBOX and AquaBUOY) along with innovative services to check data in real-time from anywhere (AquaREAL) and to receive alerts and predictions about a possible critical water situations (AquaTIC).
The devices can be adapted to any application or need: the floating version (AquaBUOY) can be fitted for open sea facilities. Some aquaculturists that work in the same area have already chosen to duplicate their coverage in order to have redundant coverage by monitoring conditions at a critical area with one or two AquaBUOYs – e.g. the entrance of an estuary or a specific point of a river, upstream of the fish exploitations. AquaBUOY has been also chosen by research institutes for innovative, real-time environmental monitoring.
The box version (AquaBOX) is fitted for indoor or inland facilities, with existing attachment points. However, a lot of open seas applications (with low tide impact) have chosen AquaBOX rather than AquaBUOY, because its small size makes it easy to attach to existing facilities. AquaBOX is even chosen by aquaponic exploitations that also have specific sensors requests. Indeed, needed physico-chemical parameters of the water can be chosen on demand.
Connected systems for real-time water management
The connectivity of the device is ensured by employing cutting edge technology: LoRa network, a private, secured and low-energy consumption radio network, developed with AGILE IoT software (http://agile-iot.eu). It requires only to connect an (AquaNODE) to the internet, which can be placed up to 30km from the devices. No direct internet or mobile connection is needed for these devices.
On a daily basis, the use of the visualisation service AquaREAL provides aquaculturists with an underwater forecast of their facilities. They can see the current status of their water at a glance, with clear indications (good, critical, or warning).
Users can easily go back to previous days, weeks or months to conduct an analysis and correlate the data to their production information. It also allows them to better manage the amount of chemicals input in the water (such as pH treatments) as it is easy to control precisely the impact on the water.
This strong correlation between water quality and human inputs have conducted Bioceanor, in partnership with cutting-edge fish food companies, to work on an innovative fish nutrition system. This system (currently under development) will use Bioceanor water monitoring solutions to adapt the nutrition quality and quantity directly to the fishes" needs.
Bio-prediction with Artificial Intelligence
In the meantime, Bioceanor is also proposing an innovative and exclusive service: AquaBIO. This service, based on complex algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), is capable of predicting a potential bacteria contamination of the water that can be very useful for example for oyster production and to decide a quarantine procedure.
AquaBIO helps to anticipate actions on the production and therefore prevents productions losses. Exploitations can also be equipped with low-cost and connected weather stations (AquaSUN) that not only gives precious information on weather forecast for a very local area but also reinforce the accuracy of the bacterial contaminations predictions.
Moreover, as the cofounders of Bioceanor are microbiologist experts, the company is currently developing an in-situ sensor that can detect directly and instantly microorganisms in water. Bioceanor is working with ICT research institutes, microbiology specialists and aquaculture experts all around Europe to be sure that the future product will be reliable and fitted for all water monitoring needs.
Increasingly, aquaculturists are willing to jump into the era of connected aquaculture. Only few weeks after Bioceanor products deployment, users can already get unsuspected information and informative patterns about their water quality. After few months, they are able to correlate the data to their production information, and thus take actions to improve their yield.
With their innovative products and exclusive services, Bioceanor is willing to take a step into the development of a smart, connected and responsible aquaculture, with informed management of natural resources.
by Charlotte Dupont, Bioceanor, France