Building a strong aquaculture economy through innovation
Tech innovations are all set to carry aquaculture into the future.
By Deepa Narwani, Content Manager, Informa Connect
A report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) highlighted that in 2018, aquaculture production recorded a record high of 114.5 million tonnes. A significant portion of the total production consisted of 82.1 million tonnes of aquatic animals. Reportedly, global aquaculture production is dominated by Asia (92 per cent). China alone accounts for 57.8 per cent of the output.
Technological advancements in aquaculture have further sparked several opportunities for this burgeoning industry worldwide. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitalisation, artificial intelligence (AI) and the integration of disruptive technologies, creating a shift towards more autonomous solutions when it comes to factors such as efficient feeding. Today, there is an increasing focus on building smarter fish farming methods to propel the industry forward.
For instance, several companies are looking towards blockchain to handle production. The technology is being used to exchange information about a fish’s origin, processing and providing a verifiable origin of each aquaculture product. As and when blockchain becomes mainstream in the industry, it could be a game-changer for offering the accountability that is essential for reducing costs and building a sustainable practice.
Some companies are using tech innovations to also monitor each individual fish based on its size and appetite. This allows farmers to keep track of the number of fish and of any possible signs of disease. Certain others are employing AI to remotely monitor fish in offshore sea cages, thereby ensuring worker safety. Furthermore, AI can be used to note fish movements and to measure speed and acceleration. It can then decide when to stop feeding according to fish appetites observed, ensuring optimal growth.
Data-driven approaches, real-time insights and predictive analytics are also gaining momentum in aquaculture thanks to information obtained from underwater drones. This allows the operator to view the farm proactively and get a complete view of their environment.
Another upcoming technology in aquaculture is virtual reality that will let farmers virtually visit the fish farm and have remote access to information such as environmental parameters and fish behaviour. The tool will have the potential to be an important asset when it comes to on-the-spot decision-making.
In the coming years, all of these different technologies will come together to form an interconnected network of sensors that will communicate with each other by sharing critical information to a central command station, providing the operator with a comprehensive picture of the fish farm.
On October 20, attend AQMEN365’s Advancing Aquaculture Summit, an insightful event that is bringing together the aquaculture community to discuss opportunities, research, and lessons learnt. Hear from speakers such as Matthew Tan, Chief Executive Officer – Asia, Assentoft Aqua Asia, on the impact of COVID-19 on the aquaculture supply chain, as well as from Chris Hyde, Chief Technology Officer, OTAQ Group, on implementing technologies, such as IoT, satellite remote sensing and AI to improve farm efficiency, among others.