Research Outline

Fish Farm Monitoring Technology


To identify the main technologies used to monitor fish farms in order to inform a startup pitch.

Early Findings

  • Submerged cameras are the most common tool used for monitoring on fish farms today. Automated fish monitoring can be accomplished by applying computer vision algorithms to the video stream.
  • Computer vision techniques are expanding rapidly, with computer vision methods being able to measure several variables, including movement and clustering, fish size, sea lice infestation levels, skin state, and behavioral changes from chemical exposure.
  • Although variation in technologies used to monitor fish is now limited, the diversity within research methodologies is expansive, as researchers constantly look for new methods for collecting data. Active hydroacoustic devices are the most common technological tools besides cameras used to study fish in aquaculture.
  • Echo sounders that obtain echograms describing vertical fish distribution and school density has been the most frequent application of hydroacoustic technology, although more advanced hydroacoustic devices are also in use within different marine industry sectors that can measure additional variables. Splitbeam sonars for example can estimate fish swim speeds and the directions of individual fish, while multibeam sonar systems can provide 3D distribution data on fish movements. Sonar-based systems may be used to measure the size of individual fish by establishing the relationship between the target strength and mass or length.
  • Passive hydrophones also provide data on the behavior of several fish species including salmonids by recording the sounds emitted by the fish.
  • A fish farm in Norway known as Lingalaks is using a new hydro-acoustic system that listens to the salmon as they feed in a cluster. When the fish have fed to their fill, the noise lessens as they swim away. Chief executive Erlend Haugarvoll hopes this will save lots of money in reduced feed, instead of wasting such large amounts.
  • Dave Oketch, a Kenya-based actuarial scientist turned fish farmer, said that internet sensor applications that can detect the intensity of heat present in the ponds by degree is helping farmers. Water temperature dictates the amount of feed fish will be given on specific days while helping farmers calculate the quantity of feed for each day for the following months. Colder temperatures make it more difficult for digestion, and undigested food can decay in the stomach of the fish, causing deadly bacteria to grow and enter their bloodstream.