Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces CAD 27 million real-time farm analytics project

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster – a national “industry-led transformative cluster” with 370 members – has announced the launch of the “Integrated Operations and Real-Time Analytics Project,” a CAD 27 million (USD 21 million, EUR 17 million) endeavor.

The project will create, according to a release from the Ocean Supercluster, “real-time information, analytics and environmental connectivity” for the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia. The project is funded through a CAD 12 million (USD 9.5 million, EUR 7.8 million) contribution by the supercluster and CAD 14.8 million (USD 11.7 million, EUR 9.6 million) from industry – led by Grieg Seafood Newfoundland and Innovasea, with partners like SubC Imaging, AKVA Group, and High-Tech Communications.

The project aims to create enhanced monitoring and new network capabilities for farms in Atlantic Canada, allowing for “global control” over aquaculture operations.

“Through data exchange and collaboration between partners, the project will result in a suite of technologies creating new and game-changing aquaculture and offshore marine operations,” Canada’s Ocean Supercluster CTO Susan Hunt said during a video announcement of the project.

The project acknowledges the growing importance of aquaculture to Canada’s economy,  Grieg Seafood Managing Director Knut Skeidsvoll said.

“This project is a positive move toward a modern approach to fish-farming,” Skeidsvoll said. “Having the ability for cross-border real-time communication between operations is vital in the egg-to-plate approach that Grieg Seafood Newfoundland has adopted.”

The project will create high-speed connectivity in Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay, allowing for greater connectivity across the operation.

“The staff and management of Grieg Seafood Newfoundland welcome today’s announcement of the Integrated Operations and Real-Time Analytics project,” Grieg Seafood Newfoundland  Human Resources and Communications Diretor Perry Power said in a release. “It’s a significant step for the aquaculture industry in Atlantic Canada to embrace such a comprehensive analytics approach. Having data infrastructure at this level enables us to embrace predictive modeling, which in turn allows us to enhance both fish welfare and environmental sustainability. Thanks to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Placentia Bay is poised to becoming a modern hub for precision fish-farming.” 

In addition to connectivity, SubC Imaging – a company local to the region – will provide real-time monitoring of farms through image processing.

“Our involvement in this incredible project is to provide machine-vision camera systems that will automatically measure net health,” SubC Founder and CEO Chad Collet said. “The real-time image processing will detect any change in the mesh of the net, including tears or changes in size, and flag for immediate intervention by people who are monitoring the health of the fish and the farm. This will greatly reduce the potential of fish escaping when compared with the existing methods.”

Innovasea will also provide increased data monitoring, using a series of algorithms to better monitor and understand fish health to improve farm performance.

“This supercluster project marks a significant milestone in the evolution of aquaculture,” Innovasea Vice President of Product Development Tim Stone said. “The project is going to accelerate our technology road map and fine-tune technologies we’re already developing.”  

Photo courtesy of Canada's Ocean Supercluster


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