“Our HD cameras are in use around the world”, says Jørn Petter Haavik, product manager for cameras in Steinsvik. “So far, we have delivered cameras from Tasmania south of Australia to Troms in the north of Norway and the feedback is fantastic. Our customers are reporting that observing the fish is easier with the new cameras and that it gives them an operational advantage when feeding. The fact that the cameras have a higher resolution than before is of course important, but the focus on HD is a bit misplaced. HD cameras can be bought in any electric store, but the real difference is made possible by the optics and the image processing chips. Steinsvik is the world leader when it comes to optics and data chips for observing feeding behavior in the aquaculture industry”.
A long time coming
“Our track record on cameras goes back to the eighties so we have a bit of experience. We started developing our HD cameras in 2015 and have had a controlled release of the units. We are now at full production capacity and are experiencing demand from all over the world. As of today, around 15 000 Steinsvik cameras are in use, so it will take us a bit of time to replace them all”, Jørn Petter says with a grin. We do however believe that the demand going forward will be for the HD cameras. This is partly driven by the remote feeding strategies we see adapted more and more. When the feeding technician is looking at fish all day long, stability and a sharp image is really important”.
Sea lice affect the conditions for the cameras
In Norway, the use of “lice skirts” to shield the fish from lice have affected the working conditions for many cameras. The cage gets darker, which means that the cameras needs a finely tuned photosensitivity. The optics and chips in Steinsvik’s HD cameras are optimized for their intended environment. 26 algorithms are processing the image in the camera before it’s transmitted to the farmer. The algorithms accentuate fish and pellet while debris and particles in the water is de-emphasized. This gives both a sharper image and minimizes the bandwidth requirements on site and from site to remote feeding centers.
Improved feed control
“We have been focused on feed control since day one,” tells Erik Fylkesnes, CEO in Fylkesnes Fisk. “We implemented camera feeding in 1991 and recently upgraded to Steinsvik’s HD cameras. The imagery is the best we have seen in the market. The new cameras gives us even better control with the feeding in addition to being a great tool for inspection and control in the cage. In fact we are so pleased that we already ordered the HD cameras for another site.”
4K cameras, and smart cameras
We are currently releasing 4K cameras for feed monitoring. 4K is the new standard for image resolution and enables the farmers to use even bigger video screens without any quality loss. These cameras are possibly for the perfectionists among our customers, but they are an important milestone in our strategy for “smart” cameras. More information in the image means more possibilities for image recognition and image processing. We are already in the final stages of our pellet recognition project, and in the near future, we will be able to do lice counting, biomass measurements and behavioral analysis of the fish using our images” concludes Haavik.