Spain-based specialist in seafood products Nueva Pescanova is using Microsoft’s data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) services to transform shrimp farming in Ecuador.
The company began using Microsoft technology after Marfrisco Aquafarm – which breeds and raises fish, shellfish and plants in water – located off the coast of Ecuador had been struggling to effectively feed its shrimp colony. On average, they reached 65 per cent of their normal weight.
Using AI, Microsoft 365, Azure and Azure IoT, Nueva Pescanova was able to extract insights from underwater recordings of the shrimp eating. The firm worked with Microsoft to develop a platform – called Smartfarm – to inform automatic feeding stations on how much food should be put into the water.
The platform interprets data gathered by sensors – from oxygen levels to shrimp per square metre – and provides insights and alerts to help aquafarmers maximise harvests, sustainability and animal welfare.
According to Microsoft, the platform was a success, with the shrimp reaching a normal weight, survival rates climbing from 50 per cent to 80 per cent, and yields increasing from 800 to 3,200 kilos per acre.
By using Smartfarm’s data-fuelled insights, Omar Portugal, general manager of Marfrisco Aquafarm, said he made more informed decisions about how to better sustain his colony. His staff are now also busier than ever, and the aquafarm has been able to hire additional workers.