Nueva Pescanova partners with Microsoft on aquaculture technology project

Published on
March 5, 2021

Pontevedra, Spain-based Nueva Pescanova is partnering with Microsoft on a project to optimize its aquaculture processes using the software giant’s cloud computing, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence services.

The project will begin by analyzing the company’s vannamei shrimp and Galician turbot farming processes. Eventually, it will be expanded to include all of Nueva Pescanova’s aquaculture ventures, which include operations in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and its Pescanova Biomarine Center in Pontevedra. It will have two aims: boosting productivity and minimizing environmental impact, according to Nueva Pescanova Group CEO Ignacio González.

“Innovation efforts will be focused on developing environmentally friendly aquaculture initiatives and creating formulas that make it possible to demonstrate sustainability in all the processes of the value chain,” he said in a statement. “This commitment is key for both companies, which have been committed for years to policies based on efficiency and sustainability.”

Eventually, the project will convert 100 percent of Nueva Pescanova’s farming processes to real-time automated control, “incentivizing the predictability of the business and guaranteeing food traceability,” according to Nueva Pescanova, which said the changes fall under the framework of its Aquaculture 4.0 strategic plan. The agreement includes a commitment to digital skills training, with the goal of easing the transition from manual processes to automated ones and providing the company’s aquaculture workers with necessary support to make the transition.

Microsoft has created a bespoke digital operations platform for Nueva Pescanova and will be an active partner in developing new technology and software to advance the aquaculture industry, according to Microsoft Spain President Pilar López.

“Digitalization and sustainability are the two axes around which to reimagine the world and relaunch the economy,” López said. “This global alliance with the Nueva Pescanova Group is a good example of this. We will work together to optimize aquaculture processes and improve the conservation of marine species through technology.”

The two entities will also join forces for Microsoft Pescanova Day, a conference that aims to bring aquaculture and marine science experts together study advances in regard to innovation and sustainability; and a Hackathon Day at Pescanova, where Microsoft, its collaborating companies, and technology start-ups will compete to formulate ideas to achieve the sustainability objectives of both companies.

A longer-term goal of the project, according to the two companies, is to “revolutionize the seafood industry worldwide.”

“This seeks to guarantee the long-term sustainability of wild species found in the marine environment, reducing pressure on fishing grounds and thus guaranteeing sustainable, safe, healthy and controlled resources while guaranteeing the supply of protein from the sea,” Microsoft and Nueva Pescanova said.

Photo courtesy of Nueva Pescanova

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