An OptoScale camera. Photo courtesy Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.

An OptoScale camera. Photo courtesy Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.

Grieg installing new camera systems to monitor farmed salmon size and health

Nine new cameras to be added at company’s farms on east and west coasts of Vancouver Island

Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. is implementing new camera systems at its aquaculture facilities to better monitor farmed salmon.

On Jan. 10, Grieg announced it has signed an agreement with OptoScale, a Norwegian company, for nine new camera units that will provide live information on the performance and growth of its farmed salmon populations. Without this technology, this accuracy was possible only after the completion of harvesting, per a press release announcing the deal.

“We started trialing the cameras at one of our farms this past summer, and have been pleased with the real-time data the system provides, which in turn, has allowed for better decision making by our farmers in regard to feeding, harvest schedules and biomass estimation,” said Rocky Boschman, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. managing director, in the release.

The camera allows the measurement of the actual size of fish to 98 per cent accuracy, information which can help the company determine if it is over or underfeeding its fish, he said.

“This is important as overfeeding can have environmental impacts, but also effects our sustainability targets as the production of feed is one of the largest contributors to our overall carbon footprint,” said Boschman. “By feeding more efficiently, we will help to reduce accidental overfeeding, lower our carbon footprint and help to support the growth and performance of our fish.”

Two of the cameras also feature a “welfare module.” This system allows for monitoring wounds, maturation, fin damage, and scale-loss on individual fish.

“We are excited to see what this data will look like in terms of supporting the overall welfare of our farmed salmon. We can then use this information to guide our animal husbandry practices on the farms,” said Patrick Whittaker, Grieg Seafood BC Ltd.’s fish health manager and veterinarian.

“By sharing this information in real-time, we are hoping to be able to implement mitigation measures sooner, which will help to support the health and performance of our fish.”

The new cameras will be installed in early 2022 at nine Grieg farms located on both the east and west coast of Vancouver Island.

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