Automation of Fish Net Pen Operations
Open-ocean finfish aquaculture presents many challenges including net handling, scuba diving in adverse conditions, maintenance, and feeding. In Phase I, Ocean Farm Technologies, Inc. successfully demonstrated the feasibility of pen rotation, which is essential to maintaining a fish pen offshore. Phase II will develop a prototype automated operations system for marine finfish net pens. Automated manipulation of the AquapodTM net pen will allow remote mortality collection, cleaning, maintenance, inspection and harvesting operations. T his includes hardening of the rotation hardware, buoyancy chambers and valving, needs identified during our feasibility study. Phase II funding will also enable OFT to develop custom electronics for the control system and create a versatile graphic user interface. The Phase I feasibility study also uncovered the potential to add more features tot the control hardware and software, which will broaden the automation from the narrow but critical function of rotation to include environmental and crop monitoring. This latter feature will have commercial potential for marine finfish containment systems other than the AquapodTM. Savings in labor and reduction of scuba diving will be a key selling point OFT intends to market globally the technology developed through this SBIR effort to owners of Aquapod net pen and other submersible and surface net pens.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Ocean Farm Technologies, Inc.
114 Higgins Road N. Searsmont, ME 04973
Number of Employees: