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Installation of iFarm sorter at Cermaq's sea site in Vesterålen, Norway
Installation of iFarm sorter at Cermaq's sea site in Vesterålen, Norway

Press release -

iFarm: for the first time, swimming fish have been sorted in a net pen

BioSort and Cermaq have for the very first time tested a sorting mechanism that will sort the fish in a net pen to provide customized follow-up for the fish. Seeing the difference between fish is crucial for improving fish health and welfare in the net pens and will be a big step forward for increased survival in salmon farming.

The iFarm project is a collaboration between the technology company BioSort and salmon farmer Cermaq, with ScaleAQ as the main supplier of the farming equipment in the project. The goal of iFarm is to improve fish health and fish welfare through artificial intelligence and machine learning. An important step on the way is to be able to sort out fish that need adapted follow-up.

The world's first

For this, BioSort has developed a so-called sorter - a machine that will be able to sort and separate individual fish based on specific characteristics of the fish, using machine learning and artificial intelligence. The goal of sorting is to be able to take out fish that need adapted follow-up, and in that way ensure better fish health for the fish in the net pen.

"To my knowledge, no one has previously sorted swimming fish in a net pen before, so this is a big step towards individual-based handling of fish," says Managing Director of BioSort Geir Stang Hauge.

Successful test

BioSort has been working on the development of the sorter for two years. The iFarm sorter, which is controlled by a number of underwater electric motors, has first been tested in BioSort's lab and pool at their offices in Oslo, then in the sea outside Oslo, before it was installed and tested in net pens at Cermaq's sea site in Vesterålen in Northern Norway.

"The purpose of this first test was to show that the sorter actually manages to sort swimming fish in a net pen, and it worked as we hoped, so it was a successful test," says Hauge.

A long development run remains

Currently, the sorter is controlled manually, but the goal is for it to be autonomous so that it, together with the sensor system in iFarm, can make its own decisions based on defined criteria. However, it is a complicated and extensive development that will take time.

"Now that we have shown that it is possible to sort out swimming fish, the work will be intensified. The development team takes the learnings from this test to the development of the next generation prototype of the sorter that will be able to function under even more conditions", says Hauge.

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Cermaq is one of the world's leading companies in farming of salmon and trout, with operations in Norway, Chile and Canada. Cermaq is a fully owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation with head office in Oslo, Norway.

Press contacts

Lars Galtung

Lars Galtung

Press contact Director of Sustainability and Communication +4798214812

Sustainable aquaculture

Cermaq is a world leading producer of sustainable salmon and trout with operations in Chile, Canada and Norway. Cermaq supplies salmon to customers in more than 70 countries around the world, and has annual revenues of around NOK 10 billion. The company has more than 4000 employees, and is a fully owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation with head office in Oslo, Norway. Cermaq’s approach to sustainability is based on the pillars of transparency, partnerships and performance. Cermaq is the first business partner and founding patron to the UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business.

Cermaq
Dronning Eufemias gate 16
0191 Oslo
Norge