Japan is one of the world’s biggest fish economies. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) estimates that aquaculture production in 2015 totalled nearly $4.4 billion or 24% of the country’s total fish production.
Kerlink, a specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), and its Japanese distributor, GISupply, announced a customised aquaculture-monitoring system that supports sustainable seafood production and lowers farmers’ costs.
Kerlink and GISupply’s smart-aquaculture solution targets that market and the global fish-farming industry with a LoRa-based sustainable aquaculture business model. Like land-based agriculture, sustainable seafood production is vital for feeding a growing global population, but the worldwide global wild fish catch has not increased significantly since the early 1990s.
The two companies’ smart-aquaculture system enables farmers to optimise operations and make data-driven decisions in real-time by automating water monitoring done manually by farm owners or employees who visited farms to collect and analyse data. Their new solution improves the effectiveness of fish breeding by enabling producers to continuously monitor water quality and temperature, which is critical because of global warming.
Another positive return-on-investment (ROI) feature enables the installation of multiple sensors that were not used in legacy systems, and which improve pattern recognition and forecasting for farm operations. Altogether, system sensors measure dissolved oxygen, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), salinity, pH, turbidity, brightness, ammonia, and chlorophyll.
The sensors, which have SDI-12 or analogue interfaces, are supported by industrial-grade Kerlink Wirnet iStation gateways, which meet standard requirements of public and private network operators, private businesses and public authorities, and a LoRa controller from Tekbox, a manufacturer of equipment for environmental monitoring, agricultural-yield applications and test equipment for niche applications.
Sensors are provided by Aqualabo, which designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of water analysis and testing devices and instruments, and Eureka, a global leader in the design and manufacture of multiparameter water quality probes.
Customers develop their own cloud software to support the system because the required data varies significantly depending on the species – fish, shellfish or invertebrate marine animals (echinoderm) – being raised in each farm.
“The Japanese and global smart-aquaculture markets embrace sustainable practices and expect new technologies, such as the IoT, to operate 24/7 regardless of what Mother Nature has to offer, even winter blizzards,” said Satoshi Kitaoka, president of GISupply.
“The reliability of our system has been proven in both land-based and open-ocean aquaculture farms, providing farmers with continuous readings of their conditions – and more confidence that they can meet their production and financial goals.”Satoshi Kitaoka