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Aquaculture in the Modern World

By: Kris Sibley

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While many aquafarmers continue to use notebooks and other manual means to operate their fish farms, a growing number are beginning to discover the benefits of aquaculture management software. One example of this is the increase in operating efficiencies made possible by the ability to more accurately measure and quantify operational changes.

Another example is the ability to monitor and track revenue and expense data as it flows through the fish farm. This provides greater cash flow transparency and gives an aquafarmer more insight into possible cost cuts and other changes that would increase the fish farm's efficiency. As if that were not enough, the ability to receive staff updates on a real-time basis instead of waiting until the end of the day allows an aquafarmer to spot trouble in a more timely manner and take whatever actions are necessary.

In order to consistently generate a profit, aquafarmers must be able to control their production processes while keeping costs low. The implementation of aquaculture software allows them to gain greater control over production variables, such as scheduling, volume, quality, cost and profitability. This helps them to better understand exactly what is happening and why it is happening.

Feed Management

Feed costs make up a significant portion of an aquafarmer's budget. This usually requires a balancing act that pits increased profitability against feed conversion ratios (FCRs). Because manual methods are generally insufficient to track pond biomass and feed usage, aquafarmers increasingly find themselves turning to automated systems. In doing so, they gain the ability to reduce costs by carefully tracking feed distribution.

Feed Management

The elimination of handwritten records also saves time and reduces errors. By automating records, pond health can be improved by minimizing the chance that overfeeding will occur, which could have a detrimental effect on both water quality and fish health. Additionally, automated inventory management systems provide aquafarmers with real-time feed information and notify operators of changes in the feed schedule or feed amount.

In addition to being able to control feed production in a more efficient manner, typical automated systems provide for the management of algae, rotifer and artemia production. They also allow for the registration of every item used in production, such as additives and enrichments. Additionally, they provide full traceability to item batch code level.

Inventory Monitoring and Analysis

A fish farm management system provides a complete set of tools for monitoring and analyzing inventory. Data is available on a number of variables as well as on a farm-wide basis. The system provides information on such things as projections, spawning, moves, harvests, inventory estimate errors and mortality tracking. By using such a system, an aquafarmer knows where the fish are and how they got there.

Inventory Monitoring and Analysis

Some of the best inventory systems operate in a cloud environment, which provides real-time inventory tracking. Whenever a change is made by an authorized party, that change is immediately available to everyone who has access to the system. Data can be retrieved and edited from almost anywhere in the world and by a number of devices, including computers, laptops and tablets. An aquafarmer can even access the data when traveling by using a fish farming app on their smartphone.

Cloud systems are also ideal for coordinating data between departments. Each department has access to the inventory information maintained by other departments without having to put in a data request. Consequently, inventory information is more accurate, and workflow issues are more easily resolved. Obviously, all of these benefits contribute to the company's bottom line.

Population Tracking

The population of a fish farm will vary from time to time due to such issues as habitat destruction and optimal harvesting rates. Such population dynamics are used by fishery scientists to determine sustainable yields and harvestable surplus. In order to perform such studies, several input variables are required, including birth rate or recruitment, growth rate, compensatory mortality and additive mortality.

There are several models used in population tracking. However, care must be taken when applying their output to real-world fisheries because over-simplification can result in the collapse of key stock. Although it is possible to manually track input variables and feed them into an analytic program, aquaculture management software makes the job easier, faster and much more accurate.

Fish Farm Facility Planning

Over the years, fish farm facility planning has become extremely complicated due to constraints imposed by governmental regulations and uncertainties regarding future economic conditions. Generally speaking, though, the outlook for fish farming is very bright. It is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world. In order to accommodate anticipated growth, many facilities are looking to expand into the open waters of the ocean.

Fish Farm Facility Planning

Although the demand for seafood continues to grow, it is doubtful that wild-capture fisheries will be able to meet that demand. The most likely candidates to step in and take up the slack are aquafarms. To meet the anticipated demand, it may be necessary in some cases to marry traditional methodologies and create new joint ventures. For instance, it is possible to combine aquaculture and marine endeavors into mariculture developments. In a similar fashion, combining aquaculture with hydroponics creates aquaponics.

New ventures, such as mariculture and aquaponics developments have the potential to affect the health and productivity of the surrounding ecosystem. Therefore, any such new endeavors will require extensive studies that can best be performed by using applications designed for those particular purposes, such as aquaponics design software.

Conclusion

While manual methods can be used to manage an aquafarm, a fish farm management system has many advantages, including better feed management, tighter inventory control and shared resources. One of the leaders in furnishing custom aquaculture software along with aquaponics software is Chetu, a custom software developer that was formed in 2000 for the purpose of delivering customized enterprise-grade solutions to leading companies.

For more information, visit our aquaculture software solutions page.

Disclaimer:

Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

- See more at: www.chetu.com/blogs

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