Plankton blooms can lead to mass mortalities at fish farms, as recently experienced in Chile. Photo: Innovasea.

Canadian salmon farmers choose Innovasea algae early warning software

US-based aquaculture technology supplier Innovasea announced today that its plankton monitoring software in now being used by two major salmon producers in Canada, which it didn’t name.

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The Boston-based company said its new cloud-based software module streamlines and enhances plankton (algae) monitoring efforts so fish farmers can predict when concentrations will be too high and take steps to protect their stocks.

“Our new plankton monitoring solution adds a new layer of protection for marine fish farms by safeguarding stocks from deadly algal blooms and helping operators ensure their fish remain healthy,” said chief executive David Kelly in a press release.

Visualisation technology

Algal blooms can quickly deplete oxygen levels in the water, causing fish to suffocate. In addition, some algae species produce toxins that can harm or kill fish.

Innovasea said its plankton monitoring solution enables users to easily catalogue different types of phytoplankton and input data from water samples or visual inspection to record species, time, location and concentration levels.

Using sophisticated visualisation technology, the software then shows which phytoplankton are appearing, where they’re showing up and to what degree – effectively serving as an early-warning system for fish farm operators. 

Plankton and algal blooms can be a problem in all the regions where salmon are farmed in the sea. In the past few weeks around 6,000 tonnes of salmon have been killed by algal blooms in the Aysén and Los Lagos regions of Chile.