Cermaq declares first iFarm harvest a success

Cermaq iFarm

The first salmon from Cermaq’s iFarm, which uses state of the art monitoring and artificial intelligence technology to maximise fish welfare, have been harvested and exported.

Cermaq said the results showed “high quality”, and also confirmed that second phase of the project is already under way.

Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Cermaq and technology business BioSort aim to identify each individual fish in a pen, monitoring and recording its health and welfare.

The first iFarm fish was stocked in the Martnesvika marine site, Norway, in the autumn of 2020. The first fish from this phase were harvested at Steigen processing plant and have been sent to customers in Europe and Asia.

Cermaq’s iFarm project manager, Karl Fredrik Ottem, said: “The results from the harvest show high quality of the iFarm fish, which confirms that the health and welfare of the fish has been good in the iFarm net pens.

“The fish behaviour we have observed in phase 1 tells us that the fish is doing fine with the iFarm equipment in the pen. This is further supported by the results from the harvest. The fish has had a good life in the iFarm pens.”

Cermaq said the need for delousing treatment was reduced by 50% in the iFarm pens compared to conventional pens on the site and scoring of welfare indicators was good throughout the production.

Experience with Phase 1 has indicated, the company said, that there is a need for further development of the underwater feeding system. The first cycle of production has also provided important experience in terms of solutions for integration between various main components of iFarm and how these should be further developed to improve handling operations and daily operations.

Cermaq also plans to further develop the iFarm sensor in the light of the lessons learned from Martnesvika.

Geir Stang Hauge, General Manager with BioSort, said: “Checking the fish in real time with cameras from multiple angles opens up to tell more about each fish, but at the same time it requires a lot from the software and hardware solutions we develop.”

Phase 2 of the iFarm project is currently taking place in Vesterålen.