Wanted: intelligent fish farm solutions

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Fish-farm “Teslas” sought by lecturer, but bottlenecks remain

He’s newbie in the industry, but Rune Volden has been R&D manager at SHM Group for a year. The Aalesund-based outfit works on the Internet of Things for aquaculture, including sensors that measure temperature and oxygen and systems that talk to each other and share information.

They already have a good number of fish farmers on their client lists, but they see opportunities to offer better technology in the future.

Trends
“Other industries implemented this a long time ago,” Volden — who doubles as a University of Aalesund IT professor — told conference-goers in Bergen on Tuesday. He pointed to an analyst’s report on the increased use of technology in the industry.

Curbing increased technology use are a number of bottlenecks. One is the remoteness of many net-pen arrays, including places where not everyone has access to mobile services.

Tailor-made
Few systems are tailor-made for aquaculture: cabinets, cables, plugs and power supply are exposed to salt water and periodic bouts of bad weather.

“My wish list includes wireless solutions, little cabinets, accessible site information and remote updates for software,” Volden said. He also hinted at Cloud and energy-storage systems.

“Are these things used elsewhere today? Well, at Volkswagen and Tesla,” he said, adding that he wanted to see the smallest possible use of cables and installs.

“Base your conclusions on facts, not gut feelings, but facts provided through sensors that are already there.”