Fish farm inspections with underwater drones

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 / Nordmøre, Norway

The aquaculture industry is bound to perform daily inspections of fish and fish farm pens. Following up on fish welfare, how the fish is acting and whether the cleaner fish use their hideouts, are some of the daily tasks.

We have visited one of the fish farms located at Nordmøre, Norway, to learn more about their usage of the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone.

Increased knowledge with underwater drones

It's no secret that farmed fish, living in fish pens, suffer both from lice, parasites and viruses. There are several challenges that need to be solved when it comes to farmed fish and cleaner fish. By utilising a Blueye Pioneer underwater drone, workers at aquaculture sites can get closer to the fish. This way, the aquaculture industry can increase their knowledge about the health and welfare of their fish, and learn when they need to do any adjustments.

Blueye Pioneer in the pen
The Blueye Pioneer at the edge of a fish farm pen Photo: Blueye Robotics

We can follow up and see if the cleaner fish eats the feed we offer, that it stays where it should be and that it has good condition. -Johannes Schrøder, Cleaner Fish Coordinator

The Blueye Pioneer underwater drone inspecting cleaner fish sheds and salmon
Real footage from the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone inspecting cleaner fish sheds and salmon Photo: Provided by a Blueye customer

How to perform underwater inspections at an aquaculture site

We've learned from the best and gathered some tips for your own underwater aquaculture inspections. Follow these steps to perform inspections of your cleaner fish and their hideouts:

  1. Start by locating the cleaner fish sheds from the surface before launching the drone into the pen.

  2. Pilot the drone on the surface, outermost at the edge of the fish pen, until you are near the sheds. This way you will avoid getting stuck or entangled around ropes and cables.

  3. Pilot the underwater drone around and between the sheds. Make sure to record video footage that you can share to others in your company.

  4. When you have finished the inspection, turn the drone around, find your tether and pilot the same way back.

Piloting the underwater drone by the fish pen
Piloting the Blueye Pioneer from the edge of the fish pen Photo: Blueye Robotics

Are you interested in learning how your business can benefit from underwater drones? Contact us today or read about other use cases for underwater inspections.

The Blueye Pioneer underwater drone inspecting fish net and cleaner fish
The Blueye Pioneer underwater drone inspecting fish net and cleaner fish Photo: Screengrab from a GoPro. Blueye Robotics

Utilizing the Blueye Pioneer underwater drone in Aquaculture

Learn how underwater drones can benefit the aquaculture industry