The worst thing that can happen to anyone involved in offshore aquaculture is to do all of the work of growing and harvesting fish or shellfish, only to have a shipment rejected because the product was considered polluted and not fit for human consumption.
Fish and shellfish farmers are now living and dying by the absence or presence of microalgae, pathogens, toxins and chemicals in the water where they tend their product. As with most fatal diseases, the earlier knowledge of the problem is detected, the better chance of saving life, preventing epidemics and ending up with a marketable product.
Real Time Detection & Quantification
An EU funded project, Enviguard, is developing a real time monitoring and warning system linked to the Internet and the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) a mobile standard developed by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI). The modular system uses three different types of state of the art sensors to monitor microalgae, pathogens and toxins and chemicals as well as water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and weather patterns.
Improving Operational Management Of Aquaculture Facilities
Enviguard uses a Geographic Information System (GIS) to capture, store, manipulate, manage, analyze and display spatial and geographic data. As information is gathered by on-site portable devices , it is sent in real time, using mobile data transmission and the internet, to a server.
The server also integrates additional information or Integrated Fisheries Monitoring (IFM) data, into the big picture including catch data, fishing activities, catch analysis and other variables.
There are similar organizations and companies around the world that are now offering site selection, real-time monitoring and production monitoring for the aquaculture industry using the same type of equipment and systems. While these systems will be a big help a decrease in the amount of garbage and pollutants dumped in the ocean will help even more.
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References and related content:
- Aquaculture Moves Offshore | Alicia Patterson Foundation
- World Fishing & Aquaculture – New EU project looks at aquaculture challenges