AquaSim: THE platform for connected, proactive aqua farming

16 May 2019

Aquaculture producers all around the world are capitalising on Skretting’s unique digital toolkit as they seek to optimise performance and differentiate themselves in the market

  • AquaSim brings real-time data and big data together in a smarter farm environment to enable more informed, proactive decision-making
  • Incorporation of sophisticated analytical software and converging technologies into the modelling system is highly effective in optimising farming production capacity, speed, efficiency and overall profitability
  • Over 1.5 billion farmed fish and shrimp have already been harvested through AquaSim’s recommendations, and a further 1.25 billion are currently in the system

In the age of Industry 4.0, with data, connectivity and smart equipment bringing the digital and physical worlds ever closer together, aquaculture is fast becoming better equipped than ever before to capitalise on these megatrends and meet future food requirements.

At the forefront of this evolution is AquaSim, Skretting’s integrated digital platform that combines biology, quality and economics alongside sensors, feeders, internet of things (IOT) and other connected technologies into a sophisticated toolkit, using rich data to calculate expected performance and provide real-time production upgrades on an individual farm-by-farm basis.

Embedding these smart control mechanisms into fish and shrimp farming systems and feeding data back into the analytics process, provides unprecedented visibility into production processes and the ability to truly optimise the value of the biomass. Furthermore, producers are better positioned to adapt and optimise to different scenarios, including biological events and demand shifts. Incorporation of this technology also provides the scope for businesses to grow.

“AquaSim brings real-time data and big data together in a smarter farm environment to enable far more informed, proactive decision-making,” says Kristoffer Tveit, Skretting’s International Product Manager. “By harnessing the latest technologies available, AquaSim is an evolving global solution that is constantly seeking to progress fish and shrimp farm agility, optimisation, transparency and proactivity. Investing in these capabilities and becoming better connected is enabling these farmers to differentiate themselves and their products in a fast-changing marketplace.”

Skretting estimates that more than 1.5 billion farmed fish and shrimp have already been harvested through AquaSim’s recommendations, and a further 1.25 billion are currently in the system. At the same time, and underlining the global importance of this technology, the dedicated AquaSim team has grown four-fold.

Tailored needs

AquaSim utilises the comprehensive portfolio of aquaculture species’ growth and feeding models built up over three decades that continues to be compiled and refined by Skretting’s research teams. Based upon appraisals of individual farming environments and each farm’s production targets and inputs, AquaSim provides tailored recommendations, including the most cost-effective stocking patterns, feed selection and feeding strategy to achieve the desired outcomes.

As the early adopters of AquaSim discovered, having the most up-to-date growth models available in a fully connected system is a great leap forward from traditional fish and shrimp farming. The incorporation of sophisticated analytic software and other converging technologies into the modelling system is proving a highly effective means of optimising their production capacity, speed, efficiency and overall profitability. Furthermore, with no two farming sectors having the same requirements, its flexibility allows different regions to fulfil those functions that are most important to local needs.

For example, AquaSim is the core component of Skretting 360+, a ground-breaking concept launched by Skretting Ecuador in 2018 that enables the country’s shrimp farmers to sustainably optimise their harvests and the cost-efficiency of their operations while also reducing exposure to risk. Using the incorporated AquaSim tools, Skretting 360+ has the capability to benchmark the performance of each production cycle and to also provide feed and harvest predictions for individual ponds.

“The application in Ecuador was a defining moment for AquaSim. Its huge success there – with shrimp farmers able to operate in much more cost-efficient, productive and sustainable manner – has caught the imagination of producers everywhere. There is a growing global awareness of the advantages to be had from connected technology that runs on real-time data, which is why we are now also seeing a rapid uptake of AquaSim in Chile, Spain and Australia to name just a few.  Norway is also using it on a large scale to get robust forecasting on feed use. It has become a business-critical 24-7 application and we see opportunities in all directions,” says Tveit.

Future-proofing

While AquaSim represents a decisive shift for the aquaculture industry, Skretting is far from finished expanding its connected capabilities and algorithms. The steady stream of new sensors being made available to the market provide the scope to measure many new parameters, including but not limited to temperature, oxygen, salinity, pH, nitrate, ammonia, turbidity, solid matter etc., thereby making it an even more valuable system.

AquaSim is also being rolled-out to more species. African catfish, Japanese bluefin tuna and Australian black tiger shrimp have become the latest aquaculture sectors to have growth and feeding models included in the system, with many more in the pipeline.

“Skretting always goes the extra mile to understand the opportunities and challenges faced by our customers. We recognise that the seafood value chain is evolving at an unprecedented rate and that the fish and shrimp farming companies which respond to these changes the quickest and most effectively will be the most future-proofed. The technology in AquaSim makes it possible to gather, analyse and utilise the large quantities of rich data that flow across production processes, thereby creating the opportunity to make the greatest gains,” says Tveit.