Norwegian west-coast based salmon farmer Austevoll Melaks is expanding Bluegrove’s feeding solution Echofeeding to run on multiple sites after having tested the technology since early 2019.
The solution from Bluegrove’s subsidiary CageEye serves as feeding support for Austevoll Melaks. It comes with a dashboard that provides them with real-time information about where the fish is positioned inside the cage and whether the fish is interested in feeding or not. The farmer has already been using the system on their sites Klammerholmen and Holevik.
“Because of this feeding support solution, we get to focus more on the fish’s health and welfare, as we don’t have to feed manually and sit and watch screens all day,” said Austevoll Melaks production manager Henrik Melingen.
“Of course we keep our eyes on the cameras, making sure we are feeding correctly, but we still find that we have more time to do other jobs on the site. Meanwhile, we are quite convinced that the fish is getting fed more efficiently.
“We will know the real results after we harvest the fish by the end of the year, but we can already tell the growth has been very good. We did have some problems with PD in the summer, but the fish recovered very fast.”
Optimized production The expansion of the Bluegrove feeding solution will take place at Austevoll Melaks site Krigsholmen in the Austevoll area. The Echofeeding system will be installed in all cages on the site. The cycle has just started, as the smolt was transferred into seawater in September 2020.
“We feed from the barge as we don’t have a central feeding station. With Echofeeding, CageEye is taking care of the feeding for us now and we have continuous cooperation and discussions with them. I am confident that this technology is helping us optimize production,” said Melingen.
Bluegrove believes cooperating with Austevoll Melaks has been mutually beneficial.
“Working with Austevoll Melaks has provided us with further proof that our feeding system, which combines data gathered from hydroacoustic sensor technology with machine learning algorithms, helps to optimize seafood production in a sustainable way,” said Bendik S. Søvegjarto, CEO, Bluegrove.
Dramatic improvements Austevoll Melaks completed its initial test with the Echofeeding solution in February 2019 and has been using the system on several sites since. It has had the CageEye-system installed in all cages at its Holevik site since October 2019.
“Feed is a major cost driver in salmon farming. If you manage to feed more efficiently and reduce feed waste at the same time, you will see huge results,” said Melingen.
“Our goal was to simultaneously improve production, the economics of our operations, the environment, and the health and welfare of the fish. We believe Bluegrove’s feeding solution can make this possible.”