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HAVBRUK2-Stort program for havbruksforskning

Development of an acoustic status indicator for soundscape monitoring in aquaculture: active and passive sound making in Atlantic salmon

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

The SoundWell II project will provide the basis necessary for future development of a non-intrusive acoustic status indicator for farmed Atlantic salmon that can be used to improve fish welfare and operational feeding routines. As fish farming is becoming increasingly industrialised, the industry is looking increasingly towards application of emerging digital technologies and automated systems. Continuous data on the condition of the fish is necessary to optimise existing and new operational procedures or management regimes and prevent adverse effects. Sound making (both active, i.e. for communication and involuntary, i.e. made as a biproduct of other behaviours such as gulping air) has been widely documented in fish and is becoming increasingly utilised in fisheries science. Monitoring the soundscape of the net pen and observing fish sound-making represents an untapped resource for monitoring fish's status, as regards hunger or stress. In spring 2021, we ran a large lab-scale experiment at NINAs field station at Ims, Stavanger. The experiment observed acoustic response, behaviour, heart rate and activity of salmon exposed to increased CO2 and salmon lice. Throughout the SoundWell II project we also have made audio recordings of full-scale net-pens at a number of different fish farms, during different seasons and during different operations. We find that Atlantic salmon alter the acoustic environment of the net-pen, confirming the potential for use of acoustics to monitor the status of fish in an aquaculture setting.

Sound making (both active, i.e. for communication and involuntary, i.e. made as a biproduct of other behaviours such as gulping air) has been widely documented in fish and is becoming increasingly utilised in fisheries science. Monitoring of fish sound making represents an untapped resource for monitoring fish's status, as regards hunger or stress, for example, in both captive and wild fishes. One particular field with large potential use is aquaculture. Non-invasive monitoring of a fish's status, direct from the fish itself, has large scope for both improving welfare and effectivity of feeding. The proposed project will provide the basis necessary for future development of a non-intrusive acoustic status indicator for farmed Atlantic salmon that can be used to improve fish welfare and operational feeding routines.

Funding scheme:

HAVBRUK2-Stort program for havbruksforskning