Multibeam sonar for measuring fish health and biomass, controlling feeding regimes and triggering predator deterrents (RD005)

Aim:

We have developed a prototype multibeam transducer that was cheaper than alternatives on the market and which was sensitive enough to capture the approach of seals and trigger unique deterrents. Advancements in transducer capabilities means the logic of this multi-beam sonar device can now be adapted in this project, to provide a complete solution to monitor fish densities and behaviour, as well as trigger predation events inside the cage while informing fish husbandry regimes.

Funding Amount:

£232,950

Duration of Project:

12 Months

Close up fish scales

Project Summary:

In 2015, Ace Aquatec received a Scottish SMART feasibility award to reduce the impact of acoustic deterrent noise on non-target wildlife. We developed a prototype multibeam transducer that was cheaper than alternatives on the market and which was sensitive enough to capture the approach of seals and trigger unique deterrents. Advancements in transducer capabilities means the logic of this multi-beam sonar device can now be adapted to provide a complete solution to monitor fish densities and behaviour, as well as trigger predation events inside the cage while informing fish husbandry regimes. Predatory events cause a change in the shoaling behaviour, causing fish to scatter from the predator. By monitoring the position of fish in the pen we will have the capacity to use AI to interpret behaviours – e.g., if the fish move higher in the column this can trigger feeders, and when they drop lower the feeders can be turned off, thereby saving valuable fish feed and increasing sustainability. Using multi beam sonar to map density 24/7 will provide accurate biomass information to inform farm managers about feeding regimes, give more accurate weight estimates to tie in with harvesting schedules, and provide early indicators of fish health problems, such as gill disease or lice outbreaks, which can cause biomass to dip or devastation events costing many millions of pounds.

The Scottish salmon farming industry is under pressure to farm sustainably, and this development addresses the impact of farming on wildlife such as seals, by helping to reduce seal mortalities.

STATUS: Ongoing

Project Lead

Ace Aquatic Ltd.