Cermaq sees value in new measurement technology

Monitoring fish growth and health provides Cermaq with better insights that can help the company achieve its goals. A new agreement means Cermaq will use equipment matured in Norway and Canada, with trials in Chile.

It all starts with weight

The story of OptoScale begins seven years ago on a fish farm, where founder Sven Kolstø went through the challenge of weighing salmon. “It’s difficult to weigh salmon on a boat that’s drifting with the current. It’s also difficult to estimate the weight distribution across the pen with just a few fish caught in the net,” Kolstø said.

Engineers were intrigued by the problem and started building the technology company OptoScale. They now provide underwater cameras and data, providing real-time analysis of the fish. Without manual operation, tens of thousands of fish can be measured every day. Image quality has improved as the company has grown in size, and today OptoScale has 35 dedicated employees, ensuring customers get accurate measurements on weight, health parameters and lice.

The weight estimate was the first value Cermaq saw when it started using the OptoScale device. In Norway and Canada, harvest estimates are now easier and forecasts more accurate.

Produce the value of different parts

“The sales department gets better results with good information about the fish,” said Floyd Cole, production manager at Cermaq Canada.

He also saw that the technology could create value in other parts of production.

“Long-term use of this device could help Cermaq Canada achieve better performance biologically and economically. It will also allow us to get the most out of our MAB.”

Cermaq has thoroughly tested the technology before signing a long-term contract with OptoScale. This prompted Kolstø to further develop OptoScale.

“We were inspired by working with a data-driven and performance-focused salmon producer like Cermaq. As we continue to build, the precision we achieve is the cornerstone for better control over the rest of the production.”

He said the technology is just as important as controlling a site’s feed conversion rate, health and lice population.

“The value Cermaq is realizing now is just the beginning,” says Kolstø, who looks forward to a data-driven future for fish farming.

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