Significant to economic stability across the world, the current scenario in the aqua-farming industry is far from what it was a decade ago. With fewer changes in people and processes, the growth and evolution of the aqua-farming sector have been steady in the past decade. Although the technological advancements have been limited, yet the onset of IoT has triggered the introduction of AI-based process adoptions and automation.
The sector is fairly large and deals with the production, and supply of aquatic animals. Fish, shrimp, oysters, and algae farming are closely associated with the global food industry. In countries such as the US, aquaculture practices are comparatively broader and segmented into marine or freshwater. Starting from oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, seaweeds, and fish such as salmon, black sea bass, sablefish, yellowtail, and pompano, regions like the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA cover the maximum number of aquatic animals categories.
As per the AMR research, globally the aqua-farming sector will reach $376.49 billion by 2025. Aqua-farming is a vital economic driver in regions like North America (the U.S., Mexico, and Canada), Europe (Russia, Norway, Iceland, and rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific), and LAMEA (Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa).
The demand for seafood has grown in the past years, owing to a rise in overall global consumption. Quoted by the UN body, the SOFIA report reveals that the global consumption of seafood will be record-breaking in the coming years, while fish production is set to jump to 26 million (MT/metric ton) by 2030 accounting for a cumulative 15% hike. As the industry will continue to expand in size, several challenges have also come into focus. Aspects like quality, quantity, and environmental dependencies are impacting the production process and supply in the sector to a great extent, eventually, affecting the standards of supply and fulfillment of consumer demands. As a reason, more and more market players are resorting to technological alternatives to improve the existing practices and bring in innovative methods to implement.
The AI-led transformation
IoT has arrived big in the aqua-farming sector too. Technological advancements are not only helping in raising the quality of livestock production but also addressing issues such as over-fishing, manual monitoring, feed quality, diseases, predator attacks and ecosystem management, and environmental variation.
Importantly, real-time monitoring by sensing devices to analyze the water quality for pathogen detection and removal, accompanied by automatic feeding systems has transformed the traditional procedure for breeding and rearing. Varieties of feed given to livestock are also being checked and also developed using sustainable techniques to decrease the climate impact. With the adoption of methodologies like big data analysis and AI-enabled programs interacting directly with tech devices installed in the aqua-farming cages or systems, livestock producers are now detecting some crucial impending problems in the stock. This has also helped in enhancing the product quality. For instance, some producers are installing entire AI-enabled infrastructure to breed, feed and raise fish populations. Robotic fishes are being developed and sent into the water to collect the data and help identify polluted water and wild fishes to curb the exploitation of breeds. Innovative practices like Ocean Cage Systems are changing the way fishes and aquatic animals are farmed.
Trained with annotated data, the AI programs at the back of this massive and connected aqua-farming infrastructure are equipped to ride the digital wave. Biomass estimation & identification, fish population counting, fish movement tracking & health monitoring, disease detection is frequently executed using AI programs. Pathogens detection is also being carried out using AI-enabled processes. Various types of training data techniques are also powering Vessel Monitoring System or VMS to check the status & location of the vessel and collect information of the stock for further monitoring. Gradually, such innovative methods are replacing laborious processes and bettering the production levels.
With the help of training data, AI programs coupled with tech devices are streamlining processes for regulating the population and production quality of livestock and contribute to the expansion and growth of the sector. Key players in the training data industry such as Cogito are helping the aquafarming industry firms strengthen their AI initiatives and provide viable solutions to materialize global demands. As digital disruption has taken lead, the aqua-farming sector has started stepping up AI implementation for revolutionizing multiple aspects to reap rewards of the shifting sectoral demands.