Submerged pens on the rise

“Aquabyte has been working with solutions for submerged pens for more than three years, and during these years we have been in close dialogue and gathered important experience from the industry”, says Commercial Director Anders Fossøy. “Today we have a significant market share, and, can look back on deliveries of stable and consistent data that ensure both fish welfare and a healthy economy. Having focused closely and ensured mutual transfer of experience between us and the farmers, we will continue to invest in this market”.

Constantly new digital technology contributes to the farmers, enabling them to secure critical data to to follow up production in the submerged pens. These pens keep the fish away from the areas where the lice are, and in this way solve a major lice problem.

How does the industry ensure optimal lice and welfare control when you can neither see the pen nor the fish, and cannot take samples for many months?

“We have developed user-friendly solutions that now deliver daily welfare data and ensure the farmer good control”, says Per Erik Hansen, who is Senior Solution Consultant at Aquabyte. “With these tools, the industry, now, can demonstrate lice control and proper fish welfare at any time.“

“I cannot see a submerged strategy without our technology.” Per Erik Hansen, Senior Solution Consultant at Aquabyte.

“Our proven record prevails”

“I cannot see a submerged strategy without our technology. Our experience is that many and important synergies are created when we position ourselves to be a long term partner with a strong focus on understanding the complexity of the biological production in the different pen environments we operate, says Hansen. “My experience from several production cycles in submerged pens is that predictable operations and daily insights on welfare, lice, and growth is the peace of mind farmers want.

Two important innovations for the years to come

“Submerged pens are a great innovation for the industry and have inspired us to develop new, innovative solutions as well. Our current solution already works well in submerged pens, but two particular innovations will enable us to better support farmers deploying submerged pens:  self-cleaning lenses and an automatic winch”, says Chief Product Officer at Aquabyte, Amory Wakefield. “The self-cleaning lenses reduce the need for manual maintenance of equipment in the pen, and the automatic winch ensures stable and representative data collection”.

“In submerged pens, it is even more critical for farmers to have automated, actual representative data for weight estimation, lice counting or mapping of wounds. Aquabyte’s solution gives farmers visibility into the growth and welfare of the fish, even when submerged below the surface without the need to manually inspect the fish.

“Our customers want a seamless user experience, and when we experience such a signal, we react instinctively and start developing technology. It is our culture, and an important backdrop for all our innovations”.

“Critical data ensures both fish welfare and healthy economy.”

Several breeders report that ‘submerged’ as a strategy to solve the lice problem, is a success. The aim is to keep the fish away from the lice, and in addition, submerged technology can lead to production in more exposed locations where the traditional pens cannot be.

“So far, our joint experience is that the venture has brought forward significant and relevant knowledge for the aquaculture industry with a focus on fish behaviour, production effectiveness and fish welfare, says Per Erik Hansen. “The lice challenges are greatly reduced, the fish have good health and welfare, and the production efficiency is good. Technologically, the facilities work well, and we see that the fish can be submerged throughout production without it being necessary to bring the pens to the surface, as long as you have technology that provides knowledge about the fish in the depths”.

It is important that we have a holistic perspective

Automatic lice counting has become a premise, and therefore our deliveries are very business-critical. Aquabyte’s technical solutions have enabled our customers to succeed with submerged ventures. We also find that our customers are not particularly concerned with what they save in one part of production alone. Therefore, we should not focus too much on only one area (such as treatments, feeding, or harvests), but rather have a holistic approach to customer projects overall, concludes Per Erik Hansen.