Tidal X, Mowi and Cognizant’s Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture


Google’s X project, Tidal, is partnering with Cognizant Ocean to use advanced AI technologies to revolutionize fish farming in the aquaculture industry. The reason being salmon fish lice infestation affects the fish breed globally. It is expected that Tidal’s AI-assisted marine monitoring device, prepared in partnership with Mowi, will be beneficial in overcoming this problem. Moreover, unlike the traditional methods followed until now, this would not harm the fish and their habitat.

Tidal, a team at X, a project of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, also known as The Moonshot Factory, is collaborating with Cognizant Ocean, an information technology services company, to greatly enhance the application of AI in aquaculture operations.

In a recent post, Neil Davé, the Tidal Project Lead, revealed an exciting collaboration with Mowi, a renowned Norwegian salmon producer. The project aimed to explore the potential of Tidal’s cutting-edge camera, sensing, and AI-powered technologies in gaining invaluable insights into the salmon residing in Mowi’s net pens.

Tidal device illustration - Tidal X, Mowi and Cognizant's Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture
Pic Credits: X.Company

In this context Neil Davé said, “For example, they can now detect and interpret fish behaviors and environmental factors, like temperature and oxygen levels, and track changes over time. These insights have helped them make better decisions about fish welfare, health, and feeding.”

Neil Dave further said, “Our new collaboration with Cognizant means we can now bring the insights and learning from our work around the world to a much greater number of ocean-based businesses. Tidal’s long-term goal is to reduce the barriers to protecting the ocean and create a set of tools that can be used across a variety of industries – from marine biologists studying animal and plant life to logistics experts using wave simulation to chart carbon-efficient shipping routes.”

Tidal X side view - Tidal X, Mowi and Cognizant's Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture
Pic Credits: X.Company

According to Tidal, its current AI is trained with more than 8 billion underwater fish observations. They also have more than 900 terabytes of operational video of these observations. Cognizant offers its expertise in seamlessly integrating AI technology into enterprise systems, enabling effective data linkage across various businesses.

Stig Martin Fiskå, Cognizant Ocean Global Head said, “With digital technology ocean industries can not only become more resilient and future-proof in the face of a more unpredictable and rapidly changing environment, but they can help make oceans healthier and address humanity’s biggest problems – from food production to renewable energy to climate change. We welcome this important collaboration with Tidal to work together with clients to support their holistic, systems-level change.”

Also See: Reef Design Lab’s Eco-Conscious Concrete Shells Safeguards Marine Habitats

What Is Salmon Fish Lice Treatment?

Multi colored salmon fishes under water near surface - Tidal X, Mowi and Cognizant's Vision for Sustainable Aquaculture

Salmon farms worldwide are facing infestations of Lepeophtheirus salmonis, a sea louse that specifically affects salmon. Sea lice, which are copepod crustaceans, have thrived for millions of years. They possess remarkable adaptability, specifically in their ability to live off salmon, sustaining themselves by consuming the fish’s skin and blood. During a brief but crucial larval phase, these resourceful creatures maneuver through the water, diligently seeking out a suitable host fish to latch onto. Some methods have been adopted till now to fight off the infestation.

1. Snorkel Nets

They offer a highly effective and environmentally friendly solution to tackle the issue of salmon lice infestations. Research has proven that housing fish in enclosed underwater areas effectively decreases infestations. By keeping the salmon in deeper waters, where lice larvae are less prevalent, the risk of contamination is significantly minimized. Although maintaining continuous submersion is not feasible.

2. Harsh Chemicals

The use of harsh chemicals is currently the most prevalent method for treating salmon lice. This treatment works well for controlling sea lice, but it has negative effects on fish. Fish eat less and grow slower. After the treatment, salmon cannot be sold for a few weeks. The salmon lice have developed a resistance over time to the three main types of chemicals being utilized. Tidal’s AI-Assisted marine monitoring device is designed to exclude the effects of these harsh chemicals on marine life.

3. Wrasee

Frustrated and exhausted by the constant presence of lice, many farms are now finding a solution in the form of cleaner fish, specifically wrasse. These amazing creatures not only feed on the lice but also provide a sustainable and cost-effective method to eradicate these troublesome infestations.

Also See: Reviving Nature Europe-MEPs Deal to Regenerate 20% of Land and Sea

About the X and Moonshot by Google

In 2010, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created a new division called X. This division focuses on developing futuristic technologies, known as moonshots, with the goal of making the world a better place. Over the past 10 years, X has supported numerous moonshot projects, some of which have become successful independent businesses.

X is a diverse group of inventors and entrepreneurs. They create and introduce technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions, of people and Tidal’s AI-Assisted marine monitoring device is one of them. Their goal is to have a huge impact on the world’s most difficult problems, not just make small improvements. They tackle projects with the same level of ambition and risk as research, but with the speed of a startup.

About Tidal by X

Tidal was founded by a passionate and determined team focused on tackling climate change and contributing to the urgent issue of global food scarcity. The ocean, in particular, holds immense potential in these areas, serving as the largest carbon sink

worldwide and ensuring the food security of 3 billion individuals through its rich array of low carbon, nutrient-packed protein sources such as fish, shellfish, and sea vegetables.

The Tidal team recognized the potential of applying fish farming technology to enhance their feeding techniques, monitor fish health, detect pests, and minimize waste by gaining a deeper understanding of the underwater activities at their farms. They embarked on a mission to create a robust system comprising cameras, sensors, and machine perception tools that could effectively observe, sense, and thrive within the challenging ocean environment.

The team conducted extensive tests of their ocean technology system across various oceanic locations, ranging from serene fjords nestled within the Arctic Circle to the vast open waters of the North Sea. Today, the Tidal system can effectively and continuously monitor fish underwater, even in the face of harsh oceanic conditions such as freezing temperatures, corrosive salt water, and powerful currents.

Their system has the ability to detect and analyze various fish behaviors, including feeding. By modeling the behaviors of fish over time, we provide fish farmers with valuable insights that can aid them in making improved, environmentally friendly choices regarding fish feeding, welfare, and overall health.

Following four years of dedicated development, Tidal has now partnered with Cognizant, renowned for its expertise in software and systems integration. Together, they aim to leverage Tidal’s invaluable data to boost the productivity and sustainability of aquaculture operations.

Tidal asserts that the collaboration with Cognizant will enable them to extend the accessibility of their technology across the aquaculture industry, instead of restricting it to a few exclusive pilot partners involved in research.

Source: AI Fish Monitoring Tech

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