With growing demand for fish and seafood products, fish farming has transformed from traditional labor-intensive operations to automated and advanced monitoring systems.
From Traditional Model to Smart System
The worldwide aquaculture industry has grown considerably over the decades, as consumer market demands for much more production than ever. Such is the main reason that traditional fish farming methods are being replaced by industrial automated systems of new technologies. In general, the traditional models are more passive and vulnerable to natural disasters, such as typhoon, drought and climate change; they have lower labor skill requirement with less payback and are becoming less attractive to young people to join. Furthermore, the rise of environmental protection and sustainability awareness calls for better fish farming operations control.
Precision Fish Farming
Precision fish farming (PFF) is a concept of smart technology implementation to monitor and manage fish farm operations. Building on traditional farming models, precision fish farming brings enhancement such as water monitor system, automated control system and big data management system. Most of these systems do not require complex infrastructure modification, but only additional hardware installation needed, allowing traditional fish farms to upgrade and even to expand its operation scale easily.
The precision fish farming technologies can be classified into hardware, software, and services. At the moment, hardware remains the largest part of it due to the high adoption of automation and monitoring devices, such as sensors, smart feeding and other control systems.
1. Sensors Technology – Sensors plays an essential role in the development of precision fish farming. From sensor device (Water Sensor) that detects different types of water, to advanced system (Smart Water Monitoring System for fish farm QAM300-DE) that monitors key parameters of water such as temperatures, pH, Oxidation-Reduction Potential, dissolved oxygen, electronic conductivity and salinity, they provide vital information for fish farm adjusting to its best operation condition. As sensor technology is developing rapidly, integrated solutions with wireless network, cloud technology and big data platform all mean that sensor applications such as Water Detector (WM-1) offer more extensive management in breeding process, product harvest, and even storage. At the same time, the increasing demands on sensor technology also drive its development to higher performance, multi-function and lower cost.
2. Smart Feeding System – Feeding tends to be the most expensive part of fish farming process, in its operating cost and time spent. Smart feeding system can offer a substantial cost advantage over traditional and conventional feeding techniques. Besides being able to regulate feeding content and automate feeding schedule, the smart feeding system with the combination of water vibration-based sensor, and machine learning; could detect and determine the appetite of the fish to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding and saves a substantial amount of cost. The growing use of computerized feeding management systems combined with sensors and other monitoring devices integrated opens new opportunities for the monitoring of fish farms.
3. Big Data & Cloud – Big Data and Cloud technologies are being implemented in precision fish farming to collect its operation information and data, ensuring precise control, water quality assurance, efficiency, cost and labor reduction during the farming process. The collected data, upon detailed computing and processing, can be used to forecast production (such as feeding cost and harvest quantity) and to identify potential problems (such as disease prevention and climate impact), all of which become important reference for next season’s farming operations.
4. IoT Automation – In general, automation of fish farm industry has become the inevitable trend in order to reduce labor costs, increase operational efficiency and leading to higher productivity. The future IoT-based system could also target to detect diseases among fish species and prevent production loss. It is worth noting that although unmanned, intelligent, and high‐precision fish farming is progressing fast, there are still challenges to deploy fully automated system in aquaculture. Due to the nature of its practices and products, a total lack of human management is high in risk, as there still require certain amount of observation, information analyze and decision to make during the fish farming process. Nevertheless, a large amount of intelligent equipment, including technologies mentioned above responsible to monitor fish farming environment, robotic devices for production, data and information sorting, and energy‐saving processing equipment will continue to greatly automate different stages of fish farming operations.
Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)
Recirculating Aquaculture System is an optimized model of precision fish farming that recycles, filters and cleans water, increasing water recirculation efficiency by measuring water quality variance (Total Dissolve Solids Meter with Temperature Detection). By creating self-sufficient ecosystems, RAS largely reduces dependency on fixed water source, and helps prevent impact from natural disasters such as drought, storm, and flooding. Comparing to traditional fish farming model, RAS could save its water usage up to 90%. By processing wastewater it brings further environmental benefits such as lower pollution generation, and improved health benefits such as decrease in the spread of disease.
Next For Implementation
While precision fish farming seems to promise optimistic future prospects, there are other factors that still needs to be addressed such as implementation cost and energy cost. Check out the related products at TECHDesign and our team of experts can help you explore the best solution to your need.