Image: OptoScale AS
Grieg Seafood BC installing new camera systems to monitor farmed salmon size and health
Friday, January 14, 2022, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. (Grieg) has entered in an agreement with OptoScale to provide nine camera sensor units for use at its farms located along both the east and west coast of Vancouver Island in BC. The units provide real-time insight and data regarding the performance and growth of farmed salmon populations, which up until now, has only been available to this degree of accuracy after harvesting of the farm has been completed.
Campbell River, BC – Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. (Grieg) has entered in an agreement with OptoScale to provide nine camera sensor units for use at its farms located along both the east and west coast of Vancouver Island in BC. The units provide real-time insight and data regarding the performance and growth of farmed salmon populations, which up until now, has only been available to this degree of accuracy after harvesting of the farm has been completed.
“We started trialing the cameras at one of our farms this past summer, and have been pleased with the real-time data the system provides, which in turn, has allowed for better decision making by our farmers in regard to feeding, harvest schedules and biomass estimation,” says Rocky Boschman, Managing Director for Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. “By allowing us to measure the actual size of the fish to a 98 per cent accuracy, we can now use that information to determine if we are over or underfeeding our fish – something we had previously only been able to calculate after the entire pen had been harvested. This is important as overfeeding can have environmental impacts, but also effects our sustainability targets as the production of feed is one of the largest contributors to our overall carbon footprint. By feeding more efficiently, we will help to reduce accidental overfeeding, lower our carbon footprint and help to support the growth and performance of our fish.”
Of the nine cameras purchased, two of them have had the Welfare Module enabled, alongside the standard Biomass Module, which is used to determine the weight of the fish. The Welfare Module allows for the identification and monitoring of wounds, maturation, fin damage, and scale-loss on individual fish within the system.
OptoScale: Optical Measurements of Salmon from Sven Jørund Kolstø on Vimeo.
“We are excited to see what this data will look like in terms of supporting the overall welfare of our farmed salmon. We can then use this information to guide our animal husbandry practices on the farms,” says Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.’s Fish Health Manager and Veterinarian, Patrick Whittaker. “By sharing this information in real-time, we are hoping to be able to implement mitigation measures sooner, which will help to support the health and performance of our fish.”
OptoScale, based in Trondheim Norway, has been working with companies around the world, and continues to look for ways to improve.
“We are excited to be working with Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., and look forward to helping them achieve improved sustainability, high feed conversations ratios – commonly known as FCRs, and supporting the overall improved health, performance and welfare of the fish,” says Sven Kolstø, CEO of OptoScale AS.
The cameras will be in place early in early 2022 at nine Grieg farms. “This technology pairs nicely with our vision and values at Grieg BC, where we are constantly looking at ways we can improve our operations, reduce our impacts and support the overall health and performance of both wild and farmed populations,” added Boschman.
Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. is headquartered in Campbell River, BC and employs approximately 180 fulltime employees, mainly located in the rural coastal communities in which it operates. Grieg holds 22 farm licences located on both the east and west coast of Vancouver Island, and operates a hatchery in Gold River, BC. It contracts its processing to a locally owned and operated processing facility north of Campbell River.