Cermaq sees value from new measurement technology

Cermaq has started using several sensors from Norway’s OptoScale and sees the technology as a useful tool for optimising their production.

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
11 November 2022, at 2:48pm
Sven Kolsto and Einar Wangberg
Sven Kolstø, CEO of OptoScale and Einar Wangberg, head of hardware

OptoScale's underwater cameras and data can provide real-time analysis of fish in aquaculture net pens © OptoScale

Surveillance of fish growth and health provides Cermaq better insight, which can help the company reach its goals. A new agreement means Cermaq will use the equipment full-fledged in Norway and Canada, as well as trialling it in Chile.

It all started with weight

OptoScale’s story begun at a fish farm seven years ago, where founder Sven Kolstø experienced the challenge of weighing salmon. "It’s difficult to weigh salmon on a boat moving with the waves. It is also difficult to use a couple of fish caught with a net to estimate the weight distribution of an entire pen," says Kolstø.

The engineer was intrigued by this problem and started building the technology company OptoScale. They now deliver underwater cameras and data providing real-time analysis of fish. With no manual handling it is possible to measure tens of thousands of fish every day. The image quality has increased together with the size of the company, and today there are 35 dedicated employees at OptoScale, ensuring customers get precise measurements on weight, health parameters and lice.

Einar Wangberg and Sven Kolsto
Einar Wangberg and Sven Kolstø

Cermaq began using equipment from OptoScale to weigh their fish and monitor their overall health © OptoScale

The weight estimates were the first Cermaq saw value in when they started using OptoScale equipment. In Norway and Canada harvest estimates have now become much simpler to perform and the prognoses are now more precise.

Value in different parts of the production

"The sales department achieves better results with good information about the fish," says Floyd Cole, production manager at Cermaq Canada.

He also sees that the technology can create value in other parts of the production.

"Long-term use of the equipment can help enable better performance, both biologically and economically for Cermaq Canada. It will also enable us to take full advantage of our MAB."

Cermaq has performed thorough tests of the technology before now signing the long-term contract with OptoScale. This motivates Kolstø to further develop OptoScale.

"We are inspired by working with a data-driven and performance-focused salmon producer such as Cermaq. We keep on building, and the precision we have achieved is a building block for achieving better control with other parts of the production as well."

He says that the technology is as relevant for controlling feed conversion rate, health status and lice counts for a site.

"The value Cermaq now has realised is only the start," says Kolstø, who looks forward to a data-driven future for fish farming.