Re:Blue using AI, single-seed methods to enhance oyster farming in Japan
Tokushima, Japan-based Re:Blue is using a full suite of modern technologies to bring oyster farming into the 21st century.
The company, founded in 2018, is using IoT, AI, and machine learning technology to enhance its oyster farming. Part of the goal of using new technology, Re:Blue CFO Fumiaki Ando told SeafoodSource during Seafood Expo Asia – running from 11 to 13 September in Singapore – is to add resiliency to oyster farming in the face of a changing ocean.
“In terms of Japan, it’s really traditional, in terms of all of the different types of oyster farming, and it is very ineffective for us,” Ando said.
Using IoT and machine learning, Ando said, the company can more readily predict how the ocean is likely to impact the oyster farms, allowing the company to anticipate problems in advance and avoid them. Unlike other traditional farms, many of which have failed as ocean conditions in Tokushima change, Re:Blue can react more adroitly, he said.
Re:Blue’s oysters are also cultivated one-by-one, using a single-seed method that produces oysters in a specially designed basked that is shaken to ensure proper growth. Ando said the typical method for growing oysters in Japan is the hanging method from rafts. Re:Blue found that the single-seed method allows the company to farm oysters even where there is high temperatures and poor nutrition. The oysters are also cultivated in an intertidal zone, allowing them to dry out, which the company said makes for well-rounded oysters.
Re: Blue is working to create triploid artificial seedlings at its land-based facilities, which it said has an advantage that reduces the loss of quality due to spawning so the oysters can be shipped regardless of the season.
Ando said the company's mission, in addition to farming more oysters, is to establish a system of oyster-farming technology that can be exported to other countries.
“We have a dream our method for oyster farming will be exported all over the world, especially in Southeast Asia, as well as Australia,” Ando said. “Currently, we are planning to export our oyster farming system to Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. We’re currently negotiating with the Japanese government to export our system."
Re:Blue CEO Shogo Hayakawa told SeafoodSource the firm's technology is already capable of helping oyster farmers around the globe.
“Anyone can farm oysters anywhere and everywhere using our technology,” he said.
Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource