Singapore Fish Farm Turns to AI for Success

A floating fish farm in Singapore is using AI and video analytics to keep an eye on fish, in a first for the small island nation.

Located off Pasir Ris Coast, the 3,000 sqm offshore facility owned by Singapore Aquaculture Technologies (SAT) uses 10 huge cylindrical tanks to house the fish. According to a report on Today Online, each tank can house up to 10 tons of barramundi.

Keeping an eye using AI

The tanks work on a closed loop system, which means that they do not release water into the ocean but recycles them internally. To further increase its environmental friendliness, the fish farm also relies on solar power for at least half of its operations.

The smart fish system was developed in partnership with Siemens and tuned to track barramundi. It uses cameras to detect characteristics of the fish population such as the length of individual fish, which is used to estimate the weight of each tank’s population.

Moreover, the smart system observes how the fishes react when food is deposited into each tank. By collecting data such as how many surfaces for food, the system can determine if fishes are adequate fed. Previously, this was done based on manual observation, which made the process subjective and imprecise.

Finally, sick fish can be detected by checking for common infections such as bulging eyes or white spots on the skin. This alerts employees to perform an in-person inspection on each tank.

SAT says the plan is to add more cameras in the future to monitor for abnormal swimming patterns, such as when a fish isolates itself from the school. This could be a symptom that the fish is not well.

The farm is projected to produce up to 350 tons of fish by 2021 when it operates at full capacity, according to Dr. Michael Voigtmann, the chief technical officer at the firm. This is understood to be 10 times the minimum yield that a conventional coastal fish farm in Singapore is mandated to produce.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/sveta_zarzamora