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Feed system makers share data to speed salmon farming progress

Four feed system manufacturers have agreed to share feed data with other technical companies, including the makers of CageEye.
Four feed system manufacturers have agreed to share feed data with other technical companies, including the makers of CageEye.

Four suppliers of fish feeding systems to Norwegian salmon farming are making feeding data available to other technical suppliers in the industry, opening up more advances in technology.

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One of the beneficiaries of the decision by Fluctus, AKVA Group, Steinsvik and Faroese firm JT Electric is CageEye, which makes a hydro-acoustic monitoring system that measures and analyses fish behaviour.

In a press release, CageEye said that combining data of both systems enables farmers to get a complete overview of the behaviour in the whole cage during feeding, maximising every meal without overfeeding.

Machine learning

Linking the data sets of feeding systems companies with CageEye’s behavioural data also provides insights in the feeding that is used to further improve the system’s algorithm. 

Acoustics cover a much larger area of a cage than a camera, and by collecting data about the fish behaviour before, starting, during and after every meal, a lot of information is being gathered, said the Oslo-based company. This information can be analysed by machine learning and compared to feeding profiles and environmental conditions, offering insights in fish needs that would be too difficult for humans to detect and analyse. 

“AKVA group have embarked on a journey to help our industry become more data-driven and move ‘from art to science’,” said Petter I. Jenssen, chief digital officer in AKVA group.

“As a part of this strategy, we see there is an increasing need for controlled and structured sharing of data, both internally by fish farmers and between different industry players and suppliers. We offer standardised interfaces and so called API’s to customers in order to meet these needs and provide customers with the right set of data, so everybody can benefit from increased insights.”

Widely adopted standards

Jørn Torsvik, Steinsvik’s vice president (digital), added: “There is a need for all industry vendors to implement open, secure and supported interfaces to their systems.

“Based on widely adopted standards, we have enabled our customers to access, utilise and share their data across traditional boundaries for quite some time. Steinsvik is also looking forward to integrating data streams from CageEye’s hydro acoustic system in our own insight offerings.”

Fluctus chief executive Harald Lien said it was the first feed system maker to open to CageEye integration in 2017, part of its policy of allowing farmers to choose the best total feeding solution based on their needs.

“We also allow them two way integration, making it possible for CageEye to control our system, necessary for them when conducting autonomous feeding,” said Lien. “As of today, we share data with multiple third parties and are pleased to have been a driving force for increased data sharing within the industry.”

Fish health alert

Accurately predicting fish appetite and improving feeding routines is just one target for the collaboration. When the data of more and more farms is added, it will be possible to search for additional behavioural patterns. In case of abnormal behaviour - compared to environment conditions and feeding regimes - farmers will get an early warning that fish health should be evaluated.

Eventually farmers will have systems that can assist in all their decisions during the production cycle. 

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