Kjell Wiik, managing director of Fishwell Technology, in the field.

Fish stress measurement ‘can reduce mortality by 30-50%’

IT company earns entrepreneurs’ prize for system that checks welfare during treatments

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An IT company that has developed a way to measure the stress levels of salmonids during farming operations has won a NOK 250,000 (£20,466) entrepreneurs’ prize.

Fishwell Technology uses cameras and artificial intelligence / machine learning to provide services aimed at improving fish welfare and reducing mortality, as well as strengthening documentation and tracking.

The Norwegian company’s GOODeye system monitors and tracks stress levels for fish during crowding based on analysis of surface movements. The company also provides documentation of delousing processes that show the effect and result of the operation.

In combination with digital counting and reporting of dead fish based on video analysis, mortality is measured against stress levels during a delousing operation or other relocation of fish. This gives fish farmers and wellboat operators the information to refine their operations to maximise welfare and minimise mortality.

Used by Lerøy

Managing director Kjell Wiik told Fish Farming Expert’s Norwegian sister site, Kyst.no, that the company currently has GOODeye Stress-detection systems running in several facilities operated by salmonid farmer Lerøy Sjøtroll in southern Norway.

“Here we can follow all farming/delousing operations live and, with post-operation analysis, to see why mortality varies. Through better learning, the potential is a reduction in mortality estimated at 30% to 50%, which amounts to a saving for farmers in Norway of NOK 2 - 4.5 billion,” he said.

Fishwell Technology was one of five aquaculture companies in contention for the Gründerjulepresangen (“Founder’s Christmas present”) prize and was named the winner by the contest’s jury at the AqKva conference in Bergen yesterday.

The jury believes that FishWell Technology has a product that can help reduce today's mortality among fish considerably.

“There is no one else who has similar service today,” the jury pointed out.

As well as receiving NOK 250,000, Fishwell Technology will also get help to grow from companies that are experts in their fields.

Skilled partners

Wiik said the award meant a lot to the company.

“It is important for marketing and making the product known in the market, as well as getting a larger strategic network that the prize provides. Internally, the award will also be motivating for skilled employees, partners and shareholders who have invested in the company,” he said.

Wiik said Fishwell had received good help from skilled partners in the farming industry who have given the company the opportunity to develop and test its solutions operationally and which are essential for further development.

“Not least here, OK Marine plays an important role as a distributor and development partner. Further thanks to (Thermolicer operator) Samba Marine and Lerøy Sjøtroll who have installed GOODeye Stress-detection,” said the Fishwell boss.

“Now we have built an organisation with a very high level of expertise in, among other things, machine learning/AI, which gives us great capacity in further development and scaling.”

Fishwell Technology was awarded the Gründerjulepresangen yesterday evening.