Aquaculture in the high north in times of change - Safe and secure aquaculture farming operations in harsh conditions
- 15:00 FEATURED TALK: Current challenges and future opportunities for exposed salmon farming in Norway
Authors: Hans Vanhauwaert Bjelland ( SINTEF Ocean AS )
Significant parts of the Norwegian coast are today unavailable to industrial fish farming due to remoteness and exposure to harsh wind, wave, current and ice conditions. Regular as well as infrequent operations are challenging. The Exposed Aquaculture Operations research centre (EXPOSED) draws upon its industrial and research partners to enable safe and sustainable seafood production in exposed coastal and ocean areas.
Firstly, this presentation will give an overview of challenges with farming at current exposed locations with dominant production technology. Our research has uncovered key risk factors to fish welfare, workers health and safety, and operations. Shortcomings in current knowledge and design methods will be described.
Secondly, the presentation will present general trends in a current surge of development projects exploring novel production technologies. These technologies cover both floating closed containment systems and large-scale rigid offshore units. The high rate of innovation is driven by a combination of: 1) An ambition to increase salmon production and utilise the whole coast, given that key environmental and wellbeing challenges are addressed; 2) High salmon prices and low oil prices and suppliers to the oil & gas sector looking for other industries; and 3) A new opportunity for farmers to apply for development concessions regime that drives innovation towards technological concepts for more exposed farming.
Thirdly, research on how to obtain reliable quantitative descriptions of the physical environment on exposed locations for use in design and dimensioning of fish farms will be presented. Various analytical and experimental methods have been used to study the degree of exposure at Norwegian farms. It has been shown that the existing methods give large variations in estimates.
- 15:30 Unlocking exposed locations for sea aquaculture activities with autonomy and remote control technology
Authors: Walter Caharija ( SINTEF Ocean ); Leif Magne Sunde ( SINTEF Ocean ); Arne Fredheim ( SINTEF Ocean )
Current state-of-the-art technologies and operations for sea-based aquaculture farms are highly dependent on manual labour, where the need for personnel to operate on fish farms is a risk factor for safety matters as well as a significant economic cost. Hence, new reliable technological solutions with more autonomy and remote control features by means of unmanned vessels can minimize personnel exposure time, reduce cost and improve regularity and planning of operations. Moreover, motivated by good water quality and lack of available sheltered locations, the industry is moving to more exposed areas and this renders manual work difficult and highlights the need for autonomous vessels, teleoperations and remote control. Autonomy and remote control technology can hence deliver the key to open areas that are exposed to harsh weather conditions to sea aquaculture activities.
Some automation and remote control solutions are already employed by the Norwegian salmon farming industry, resulting in higher yields and higher safety standards. For example, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), deployed from manned service vessels, are now used to inspect and clean cage nets as well as inspection of mooring lines and anchors on a regular basis. Special ROV intervention tools for net repair exist as well, but these are very dependent of low wave state, and could not be considered as proven technology that are widely acquired by the industry.
This talk will present the ongoing activities within SINTEF Ocean in the fields of autonomy, remote control and robotics for sea aquaculture, since SINTEF Ocean has been investigating unmanned vessels and remote technology for application in aquaculture sites for the last 10 years where the most relevant concluded project is MerdROV (The Research Council of Norway project num. 217541). The scope of the MerdROV project was to develop navigation and station-keeping control systems for ROVs, for aquaculture specific operations such as net cleaning, inspection and repair. The results from full scale attempts indicate that a navigation system based on acoustic measurement principles can be used for navigation in full scale farms with large biomass and that holes in the net can be detected via computer vision algorithms. Given the promising results, a new generation of ongoing projects within autonomy and remote control followed: ARTIFEX (RCN project num. 256241), CageReporter (RCN project num. 269087), RACE and EXPOSED.
Tuesday 23rd January 2018
15:00 - 16:45