InControl Aquaculture is a web-based quality control system for fish farms, increasing sustainability and profitability in the industry. “We could not produce the world’s best salmon without InControl,” says Nils Tore Karstensen, Chairman of E. Karstensen Fish Farming.
When salmon aquaculture began in the 1960s, fish farmers were in many ways pioneers in their field, lacking the advanced technology we have today to help to guide them. Aquaculturalists relied mainly on trial and error. Until just a few years ago, they would painstakingly record all of their activities in journals that were kept at each individual facility.
As the industry continues to grow, fish farmers still face an increasing number of challenges. Maintaining control of all aspects of production can be difficult and time consuming. Concerns about fish welfare and environmental damage are increasing. In addition, stricter governmental requirements have made documenting inspections and periodic maintenance even more crucial.
As a result, fish farmers are seeking advanced software solutions to address their most fundamental challenges.
InControl Aquaculture software gives fish farmers full control over their operations. InControl is a flexible dashboard solution that gathers all information in one place. Each employee views the same dashboard on a PC or on their smartphone.
“One huge advantage of InControl is that everyone from managers to net-pen workers are able to communicate easily with each other, which improves efficiency,” says Project Manager Line Træen.
With InControl, technicians in the field receive daily task checklists. When they complete a task, they register it with a simple click of a button on their smartphone. This ensures that all tasks, from cleaning equipment to feeding fish, are done correctly and on time.
“Our solution is so easy to use that even employees without a lot of tech skills can do it!” says Træen. InControl simplifies reporting to government authorities, and it allows managers to update procedures and invite employees to confirm that they have read and understood them. InControl also performs risk assessments for common problems such as fish escapes.
InControl improves fish welfare by successfully helping to combat sea lice, which has traditionally been a chronic problem in aquaculture. Excessive sea lice can cause skin erosion, open sores and mortality. “We are dependent on the well-being of our fish,” explains Karstensen.
In addition, the software gives fish farmers full control over the chemicals they use, reducing undesirable chemical discharges into the sea.
InControl further reduces aquaculture’s environmental impact. “We help to reduce fish escapes, which can negatively affect wild populations by competing with them for food, habitat and spawning partners,” says Træen.
One way InControl achieves this is through the discovery, reporting, and quick correction of problems that arise. “If you stay on top of deviations, you can prevent everything from fish escapes to human injury and chemical discharges. You can also uncover deficiencies in procedures and training, and then make checklists to improve the situation,” says Træen.
Aquaculture, the fastest-growing food-production sector, is under pressure to become more sustainable. Consumers are more conscious than ever of animal welfare and the environmental impact of fish farming. Governments and international bodies such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are demanding greater accountability from the industry.
Many fish farmers are themselves concerned about the health of the fish they raise for both business and ethical reasons. “We take pride in producing good, healthy food for the world,” says Karstensen.
InControl is playing an essential role in increasing the sustainability of aquaculture. “When our customers use our software, they can focus on what’s truly important – actual fish production and fish welfare. Fish is the most sustainable animal protein you can raise,” says Træen.
Launched in 2014, InControl Aquaculture is being used with great success by Norwegian fish farms. Some customers have foreign subsidiaries, and InControl is now poised to expand internationally.
2. Zero hunger
InControl promotes the efficient production of farmed fish, which can improve food security.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
InControl improves quality control and efficiency in management and operations at aquaculture facilities, increasing sustainability in aquaculture.
12. Responsible consumption and production
InControl reduces waste generation and food losses in aquaculture by preventing disease and mortality in farmed fish.
14. Life below water
InControl prevents fish escapes and chemical discharges that can harm local marine ecosystems.