Mowi implements AKVA artificial intelligence system as part of series of major investments in BC

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Mowi’s site on Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory, in the coastal fjords of British Columbia, sees new centralized feed station and staff accommodation.

Mowi’s new centralized feed station at the Kitasoo/Xai’xais community at Klemtu will open later this month.

Fish farming and processing is the main source of employment in Klemtu, generating more than 50 jobs for the small, remote community on the central coast of British Columbia. Mowi has four salmon farms on Klemtu, with six leases per area.

New Klemtu housing at Mowi Canada West. Photo: Mowi

The sites recently attracted attention when Mowi and Walmart announced a partnership to carry Kitasoo/Xai’xais branded salmon at more than 300 stores across Canada.

Read more: Walmart partners with Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation to distribute indigenous produced salmon nationally

The feed station represents a significant investment from the fish farming giant and will feature state of the art technology including artificial intelligence from AKVA, a first for Mowi Canada West.

Centralised feed station. Photo: Mowi

Artificial intelligence
The AI will be used to recognize individual feed pellets and will also track fish activity levels. The software will monitor the cameras, in effect acting as a second set of eyes for the feeder and will alert them if the number of pellets on the screen exceeds a set parameter or if the fish activity level drops below a set level. These alerts will be logged with a short video clip of what caused the alert. The team will then be able to replay that video and use it to inform feeding decisions.

The feed station is located in the same building as the recently opened smokehouse at Klemtu.

Speaking about the new feed station, Andrew Richford, Feed Station Manager at Klemtu, commented, “The feed station is designed to incorporate three stations to feed salmon at four farms. The feed station is located on land in Klemtu and with staff focused on feeding from this remote location, it will mean that our team at the sea sites will be able to focus on the salmon and their health and welfare. Five staff will work at the feed station, two per shift with me overseeing operations.”

“The feed station itself will also give us the ability to be very consistent. We will be able to analyze the data collected by the team, and the technology at the feed station and this will help us improve our feeding results going forward.”

Klemtu housing. Photo: Mowi

Hiring
According to Mowi, recruitment for the feed station is already underway and its location will enable the company to hire different people from the Kitasoo/Xai’xais community, as Fabian McCarty explained:

“We have a core of skilled workers from the Kitasoo/Xai’xais community but typically they are all male. This is because the shift pattern of eight days on and six days off doesn’t suit everybody. By putting the feed station on land at Klemtu, it means that other members of the community, especially females, could work here.”

“People are genuinely excited about the feed station and the new technology we will be using. We can’t wait to be able to show it to everyone. Fish farming has been a big part of this community for 20 years but not everybody has had the opportunity to see the fish firsthand in their marine environment. Thanks to our large screens in the feed station, we have a lot of interest to see the salmon on the big screen! We hope to have an open day and host school visits as well.”

New living quarters
Further investment has been made to create new living quarters for staff working at the sea sites in British Columbia. The 28-bedroom accommodation is a centralized accommodation barge with every modern convenience for staff working shifts at the sea farms. It replaces ‘The Camp House’ which was an ageing residential infrastructure that no longer met Mowi’s requirements.

The centralized accommodation barge offers staff bedrooms with TVs, there is also a restaurant providing catering, a gym and even office space for paperwork. This is a significant improvement for staff as Fabian describes, “After a long hard day at sea, coming back to a meal cooked for you and a well-equipped accommodation means that you can just relax and wake up refreshed for work the next day. With the accommodation barge and the centralized feed station, Mowi is investing significantly in Klemtu and the Kitasoo/Xai’xais community and I am very proud to be part of that.”

“Investing in our future”
Isaiah Robinson, General Manager of Kitasoo Development Corporation is pleased to see these investment toward Klemtu’s sustainability, saying: “Over our 20-year partnership, Mowi Canada West has strived to invest in our people’s future, the centralized feed station and new living quarters are great examples.

“I am extremely excited to see the feeding station operational, this fantastic project diversifies our Nation’s employment opportunities for community members who wish to stay close to home.

“The new living quarters were designed to provide a comfortable working environment for our members, as being away from home can be difficult.

“By Mowi Canada West investing in our future, they bring hope and prosperity to our people and economy.”

Centralised feed station. Photo: Mowi