FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY THE EYE BELOW THE WATER: integrating 360o cameras with feed systems Steinsvik is a global company specialized in delivering products and solutions to the aquaculture industry, as a market leader in camera systems for monitoring fish behavior. The feeding cameras have been the core of our business since 1985. The success has laid the foundation for our expansion into feeding systems, barges, software and various other products used by fish farmers around the globe every day.
Top: Responsive sitemap available on phone, tablet and computer Bottom: Images of fish in the cage recorded by Steinsvik cameras
The first camera was built in 1985, but the wellknown underwater-eye design didnâ€™t see the light of day until 1990. Salmon farming was still in its infancy, with smaller cages, fewer fish and an overall more simplistic approach to feeding. Most farmers relied on manual observation of surface activity to gauge the fish appetite; few saw the emerging need for a sub-surface eye to observe. The struggle to gain market was twofold and the farmers needed convincing while the product needed improving.
In 1992 the well-known look emerged. The idea behind it was an eye below water. The camera was able to rotate 360 degrees vertically and horizontally, giving the farmer the possibility to monitor feeding behavior in a large area. Feedback from the customer showed a substantial potential for optimizing the amount of feed to be fed for every meal. More often than not, the farmers were underfeeding their fish, by following the set-feeding schedule. This could manifest itself in a high feed conversion rate. Whilst this was in itself a good indicator of the pellets being consumed, it hid the fact that there was potential for quicker growth and larger fish at harvest.
So far Steinsvik have delivered more than 12,000 cameras. There are cameras currently in use that were delivered back in 1998. That is 18 years for electronic equipment submerges in seawater. A clear image and user-friendly controls are not enough. The key to Steinsvikâ€™s success is that the product has to work, day in and day out, year after year, in ever changing conditions. The salmon farmers rely on the images to be able to feed the exact amount to ensure maximum growth and avoid any feed spill.
The development of the cameras are a continuous process based upon experience and feedback from the costumers which has 42 | March 2017 - International Aquafeed