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Fish fry business showcases its achievements to members of the industry

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A new paradigm for smart aquaculture: Fish fry business showcases its achievements to members of the industry

  This year marks the third year of the Council of Agriculture’s push to invest in smart agriculture, and thus far, several industry projects have been initiated. On May 17, 2019, the Pingtung-based Sheng-Diao Aquatic Technology – a model of excellence for smart aquaculture – held the Smart Aquaculture and Fishery Industry Achievements Showcase event with the support of the Fisheries Research Institute (TFRIN) team. The event allowed for exchanges among members of the industry, who were able to visit Sheng-Diao’s aquaculture sites, observe the smart ecological aquaculture system that Sheng-Diao had planned and developed, and learn about the key to maintaining aquaculture water quality, as well as smart aquaculture models that offer better efficiency and energy-saving results.
Investment in smart aquaculture to address industry issues
A study on the international fishery and aquaculture industries estimated that worldwide aquaculture production will hit 100 million tons by 2025 and account for nearly half of the world’s fishery supply. In Taiwan, open-air aquaculture farms make up most of the aquaculture industry, and the problems they face include their high vulnerability to climate conditions and the environment, as well as an aging workforce and labor shortage. In 2017, the Council of Agriculture launched a smart agriculture program, through which it sought to develop better solutions by considering the industry chain and implementing industry-university research.
TFRIN indicated that it first identified the actual problems faced by the industry, and then developed smart aquaculture technologies and labor-saving machinery and equipment that could address the industry’s problems. The institute also integrated resources in an efficient manner and got the government to continue performing its role in matching industry technologies with resources, so as to gradually transform the industry from one that relies solely on experience and judgment to one that utilizes scientific management. Through this showcase and exchange, a greater number of aquaculture farmers were able to learn about the details of excellent and convenient industry practices which, in turn, contributed to the promotion of industry research applications. It is hoped that this will lead to the establishment of a smart aquaculture alliance and drive more aspiring aquaculture farmers to participate in the field of industry applications.
Model demonstration showcasing the application of new technologies to create a new aquaculture paradigm
Sheng-Diao Aquatic Technology has continued to develop the pure seawater tilapia fry propagation technology that it acquired from TFRIN via a technology transfer. In 2017, the company began to participate in the Smart Agriculture 4.0 Industry Participation Subsidy Program and continued to develop its tilapia genetic selection technology, which involved the use of molecular marker techniques for pedigree identification in order to facilitate breed management, track offspring performance, and consequently, raise overall aquaculture efficiency. I-Sheng Huang, the second generation successor at Sheng-Diao, said at the showcase event that, under their smart aquaculture facility system, HDPE ecological culture ponds are created using sheet piles made of fiber reinforced plastics, since this approach allows for better soil protection and water retention with reduced seepage flow, which helps to protect the ponds from soil-based heavy metal pollution. The culture ponds are also equipped with sensing technology that is able to track biological and environmental parameters (including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, electrical conductivity, and atmospheric pressure) and perform smart water quality monitoring, as well as a water level monitoring and early warning system. These are developments that demonstrate the transition from experience-based to big data-based management. Sheng-Diao demonstrated on-site a patented movable aerator connector that can increase a culture pond’s dissolved oxygen area and stabilize its water quality, and when this device is integrated with the smart aquaculture facility system, a 13% reduction in power consumption can be attained. These achievements represent the growing integration of more scientific and precise methods into aquaculture management.
TFRIN expressed its hope that the Smart Aquaculture and Fishery Industry Achievements Showcase event has exposed more aquaculture farmers to the ways in which members of the industry can take advantage of industry-university research cooperation to create new industry opportunities. Members of the industry were also able to make on-site visits to understand how scientific and technological resources could be utilized to monitor pond water quality and reconstruct culture ponds. Through an open sharing of the developments achieved by front-line players in the industry chain, the aquaculture industry as a whole will get to enjoy a smooth transition toward sustainable development.