Tech startup UMITRON: AI is the future of fish farming

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After a two year wait, tech startup UMITRON arrived in Aviemore for the 2022 Aquaculture UK event looking to bring digital innovation into the industry with its mission to “install sustainable aquaculture on earth.”

The company’s Remora AI-based feeding software seeks to increase efficiency and reduce workload, helping companies to be more environmentally friendly and cut waste at a time when rising costs are putting pressure on the industry.

Masahiko Yamada, the company’s Co-Founder and Managing Director, told SalmonBusiness at the 2022 Aquaculture UK event how the key selling points for companies is the profitability and environmental benefit of turning to AI systems.

AI is the future of fish farming
With companies seeking to use digital technology to make them more sustainable and efficient, Yamada was open that he believes digitisation is the way forward for the aquaculture industry if it is to become the sustainable sector that it hopes to be.

“This is our vision: How to achieve sustainable aquaculture,” he said, explaining how, as companies develop “AI can support” the industry through generational changes, ensuring that companies are able to adapt to new ways of fish farming.

Yamada sees the potential for the fish farms to take the approach seen with oil companies they’ve worked with in Japan. Oil businesses are now looking to become more sustainable, he explained, highlighting the increased focus by corporations on reducing their impact on the planet, using environmental monitoring services.

Overcoming resistance to AI technology
It’s not been all plain sailing for UMITRON though, as Yamada admits that it has two types of clients: People who love technology and farmers who need to be convinced that software can help “fix their issues.”

Although, while there might be some initial reluctance in some areas of the aquaculture industry, Yamada was optimistic that their AI technology could spread throughout the sector. Separating their software from competitors, Yamada highlighted how company’s that wish to use their software don’t need to install hardware or take an “investment intensive” approach but can just be provided with the software to streamline their farming operations.

Taking advantage of the current climate
While a lot of talk at the Aquaculture event has focused on the challenges companies are facing, UMITRON sees a potential opportunity in a difficult situation.

With the cost of raw materials rising, companies looking to cut their carbon footprint and labour issues causing difficulties, UMITRON hopes more farms will adapt to using an AI software that can support their operations.

Yamada highlighted how monitoring satellite data, environmental factors and providing key data on the fish within farms are all attractive to clients, as they push towards sustainability.