With the project "Digitalisation of land-based shrimp farming in Germany using AI-based evaluation of imaging & acoustic systems", shrimp farming is being made fit for the future.
While industries such as media, food, telecommunications and banking have already come a long way in terms of digitalisation, aquaculture is still in its infancy, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group. Yet digitalisation could bring decisive progress, especially in the area of animal health; since the fish farmer does not know the exact biomass of fish/shrimp in his tanks (but only the calculated biomass), overfeeding can occur if the animals grow less than expected, for example. This is not only detrimental to the fish farmer's yield, but can also have a negative impact on animal welfare or health. This is because the feed residues remaining in the system lower the water quality and increase bacterial growth. Feed resudies also impair the function of the filter technology and lead to inaccurate values in the measuring probes used to control the water quality.
First steps towards digital early welfare alert in land-based shrimp farming are done
Animal welfare in land- based shrimp farming systems by two key aspects; 1) eliminate over- or underfeeding and 2) by an early detection of visual stress indicators. The first goal, i.e. avoid over- underfeeding requires an accurate shrimp counting and length measurement tool which allowing exact biomass calculation. In the first period of the project MonitorShrimp we already provided the first-generation online tool allowing a counting shrimp accuracy of about 90% (final aim of 95% currently in progress).
We have now updated our counting tool with an automated length detection and an automated animal welfare detection.
The above versions will finally be integrated in one desktop generating additional integrated information such as biomass per m² and also including individual camera setting options to tailor the software to individual farm environments.
Especially animal welfare in aquaculture has long been and still is a controversial issue. Means to access and key welfare indicators are not yet in place. This present online detection of red tails, an early stress response in shrimp, will be a big step towards sustainable shrimp aquaculture in land- based farming systems and will contribute towards transparent shrimp production labelling.