THE CHALLENGE 

Fish farmers across the UK and Ireland are seeking innovative ways to curb the effects of marine heatwaves across the region. Increasing temperatures create challenges including low dissolved oxygen and rapid reproduction rates of pathogens and harmful algal blooms (HABs) which can lead to mass fish mortalities. 

To prevent these losses, farm owners and operators rely on environmental systems to inform decision-making, especially in locations notorious for challenging biological conditions.  

SET PRIORITIES  

For Scottish Sea Farms – growers of premium Scottish salmon, continuous monitoring including a real-time pen monitoring system helps safeguard their livestock from harsh environmental conditions. 

As part of their target to transition all aquaculture practices to preventive and continuous measures, Scottish Sea Farms have integrated an end-to-end real-time monitoring system across two regional sites with a third on the horizon. Their most recent installation at their Lober Rock site in Orkney comes after success at their mainland Scotland and Shetland farms. The rental system, Innovasea’s aquaEnvironment, enables farm managers to stay ahead of environmental and weather-based factors that can suddenly threaten the health or safety of their fish stock.  

Aquaculture pens on a farm in orkney

The system comprises of unique underwater aquaMeasure sensors that use sound waves to wirelessly sense parameters including Dissolved Oxygen, Chlorophyll, Turbidity, Blue-Green Algae, Temperature and Salinity. It is also capable of monitoring tidal conditions, wind, barometric pressure, and other weather-related variables.  All of this data is pulled together on an intuitive software called Realfish Pro.  

WHAT HAPPENED 

The site was surveyed by our aquaculture specialist, Adam, who determined the scale of the installation. Subsequently, the equipment was shipped to the site at Lober Rock and sensors were deployed in each pen to monitor the farming environment. A central aquaHub was mounted on the barge and connected wirelessly to the deployed sensors. 

“We are pleased to have the aquaEnvironment system installed at our Lober Rock site. So far, we have had a great experience using this real-time monitoring system that puts all the important data in the palm of our hands. It eliminates the guesswork and cuts down the manual labour time involved in taking care of our livestock, giving us peace of mind. It is also worth mentioning the exceptional technical support provided by Adam. Whenever we face downtime or have any questions, he is just one call away and always ready to help!” – Andrew Park, Scottish Sea Farms 

Once the system was configured, the Realfish Pro app and desktop version were installed on computers and phones. This live, in situ data facilitated ongoing monitoring and management of the site and proved invaluable for a hands-on training session.  

TRAINING ON THE GO 

Over the next 36 months, the SSF site at Lober Rock will benefit from the real-time in-situ data with the added benefit of ongoing technical support from RS Aqua. Recognizing the dynamic nature of marine environments and the evolving needs of aquaculture facilities, RS Aqua offers round-the-clock technical support for both owned and rental systems. This support ensures that farm managers and operators have access to expert assistance whenever they need it. Whether it’s troubleshooting unexpected downtime, optimising system performance, or getting help with interpreting data, farm managers are enabled to maximise the systems’ potential for improving fish health and productivity. 

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For more information on Aquaculture monitoring systems, speak to one of our advisors today 

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