Feed costs make up around 50 per cent of the total production costs within salmon farming. By introducing knowledge about the relationship between fish feeding behaviour and seawater oxygen saturation, an automated feeding system can make a major contribution to enhancing the fish farming industry. The Automatic Appetite Based Feeding Control System for Aquaculture Farming Industry project has a strong academic foundation, and is fortunate to be situated in world-leading sea-farming regions, Stavanger and Bergen.
Cage fish farmers are continuously looking for ways to increase production efficiency. Reducing feed costs is a top priority, as it is the single greatest expense. Efficient feeding today relies on experienced farmers using manual input from video cameras to start and stop feeding. This is an unpredictable method, as the fish are often not observable due to depth distribution and poor water transparency. The sub-optimal efficiency also varies greatly between different farmers. Previous attempts to automate the process, such as using pellet counters at the bottom of the cages, have not been successful.
Teknomar provides cage salmon farmers with “intelligent” feeding software that selects the amount of feed and feed supply rate. It estimates the appetite and feeding behaviour of the fish from changes in saturation of dissolved oxygen during feeding sessions. The software is connected to automatic feeding systems that control feeding start and stop.
This system has a range of benefits:
- reduced feed costs through improved feed conversion ratios
- improved growth rate by ensuring sufficient feeding in situations when fish appetite is higher than assumed, but feeding behaviour is hard to detect through surface observations
- reduced labour expenses through automation
- reduced pollution and eutrophication through reduced feed waste
The project is developed by Prekubator TTO.