News 460 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Sensors improve prawn feeding efficiency

Researchers in CSIRO's Tasmanian ICT Centre in Australia are developing automated image sensors and software to assist the prawn aquaculture industry and improve feeding efficiency.

The two major inputs into prawn farming in Australia are feed pellets and labour. The efficiency of the industry can be improved by reducing these costs. Researchers are therfore studying the use of sensors in aqua ponds. These sensors provide continuous information about feed consumption in prawn ponds and thus will:

? reduce overfeeding of farmed prawns
reduce nutrient levels in farm effluent, reducing the environmental impact of prawn farming
? provide better information on the feeding efficiency of farmed prawns
? improve the health of farmed prawns and reduce the use of antibiotics in countries that permit their use (antibiotics are not used routinely in Australian aquaculture)
? enable better selection of brood stock for breed engineering.

Image recording
The submersible sensor contains a digital camera that records images of a feeding surface. The images are processed by a computer and advanced processing algorithms are being developed that can extract information from the images.

This research project is one of a group of CSIRO prawn aquaculture projects. The combined impact of CSIRO's prawn projects is expected to double the value of the Australian prawn industry by 2020.

Related website:
CSIRO prawn research

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