Artificial Intelligence is shaping the future of aquaculture
by AKVA group, Norway
By designing a sophisticated and dynamic artificial intelligence system, AKVA group aim to convert aquaculture from art into more of a science.
Salmon farming has expanded significantly over the past 30 years, resulting in phenomenal growth and a footprint where most suitable sites are already being utilised and at capacity. Future growth relies on the industry to optimise existing farms and to further industrialise new concepts both off-shore and on-shore.
It is well recognised that most farms have the potential to be further optimised with regards to feed optimisation and fish welfare, together accounting for more than 50 percent of farming costs.
Emphasis on AI
'While past innovations have focused on hardware and data collection, we discovered the problem is not a lack of data, but the rigour and overwhelming pressure for farmers to consistently interpret that data and apply correlations with fish activity, feeding patterns, sensory data, feed particles and other historical information in real time,' says Petter Idar Jenssen, SVP Digitalisation in AKVA group.
In 2018, AKVA group went into partnership with Observe Technologies and formed AKVA Observe in order to bring a new intelligent feeding assistant to the market.
'By designing a sophisticated and dynamic artificial intelligence system, we aim to convert aquaculture practices from art into science. The market response has been incredible and to date over 20 farms around the globe are using the solution,' Jenssen says.
Taps into existing video and data streams
AKVA Observe is built to be adaptable and empowering for farmers without the hassle of introducing new equipment in the pens. The system taps into existing camera streams found in salmon farms, analyses them in milliseconds and provides a standardised view of fish activity and detection of feed particles at different depths.
'Through the combination of these factors, the system is learning pen-based trends and appetites to identify suggested optimum volume of food delivery for satiation in real time. Furthermore, it is possible to plug in sensors, feeding systems and other auxiliary data to make the analysis more comprehensive supporting higher automation of farms,' explains Jenssen.
For the first time, farms have constant analytical and objective evidence of how the fish react to feed and different conditions. As aquaculture booms as a sector and more sites are regulated, the AI systems leverage cloud infrastructures to give remote site level analysis and anomaly detection to degrees never seen before.
Just the beginning
'We have made sure the farmers are the lead and the heart of our development. To understand the problems faced by farm operators, we have worked on fish sites across multiple continents to develop not only an initial product, but a roadmap of development to ensure that our software is a complete investment for the platform of the future. As a result, customer feedback has been positive across the world,' Jenssen says.
Going forward, the company intend for AKVA Observe to automate entire aspects of the feeding process, bringing significant increases in productivity and lowering costs with the end goal of providing salmon at robust margins. They also plan to introduce systems to measure the weight of the fish automatically in the water taking out the manual process.
'When scaled, the impact this will have on the economy and environment is immense. It also allows us to better monitor the health of the pens, using anomaly detection to identify at-risk sites and respond before they become an issue,' Jenssen concludes.
Facts – AKVA Observe
- An intelligent feeding assistant that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse the different data and video streams at the site
- The system not only count pellets, but completes a detailed analysis of fish behavior, that when used together, identify risk situations to advise the operator when it is time to increase or decrease feeding
- The system is built to learn over time to better understand site specific issues and continuously improve the real-time assistance for each pen
- AKVA Observe is developed by Observe Technologies in cooperation with AKVA group