A remote monitoring system for Open Ocean Aquaculture
Oceans '02 MTS/IEEE
The purpose of this project was to determine the practicality and characteristics of a remote monitoring system for an open ocean aquaculture fish cage. The Open Ocean Aquaculture program at the University of New Hampshire currently uses two fish cages to develop the technology and methodology to raise finned fish in the open ocean. The cages are located about six miles offshore in the Gulf of Maine, making daily monitoring both expensive and time consuming. Scientists and aquaculture farmers,
... uaculture farmers, therefore, need a way to remotely observe fish feeding habits and growth on a regular basis without having to visit the cages themselves and eventually control the feeding and offshore operations monitoring remotely. This project was a first-order feasibility study on the utility of using optical and acoustic sensors to monitor the submerged North Atlantic Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) fish cage, and remotely telemeter data back to shore. There, scientists will be able to monitor the status of the fish and feeding operation. Video and sonar systems were selected to image fish in the cage, and a radio telemetry system was tested on the cage's feed buoy. Imaging capabilities of the optical and acoustic systems, and the data transfer capabilities of the telemetry system were tested. Preliminary results for this feasibility test are encouraging. Adequate imaging cannot be accomplished by camera or sonar alone. Further testing and development is required, but after a first-order analysis of results, a dual system is recommended for fish cage monitoring. In addition, the telemetry system seems feasible.