The Smart Farm system has been rolled out across all of Tassal’s operations – and the organisation is now working with Barhead on incremental innovation.
It’s currently working on a system to support the operation of its ‘well boat’, an important asset which is critical in ensuring the health of the salmon and safety of the workforce in the rougher waters offshore.
Atlantic salmon can contract Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD) which, left unchecked, can kill fish. To ensure fish health, Tassal has taken out a 10-year lease on a well boat – a 3,500 cubic metre freshwater “aqua spa”. To protect the fish the salmon are bathed in the freshwater contained in the well, when they are 6-8 weeks old, to remove the problematic amoeba and ensure their good health when they are returned to ocean pens.
As Leary says; “You can imagine it’s a costly exercise. It’s a large boat, it’s got a crew. So, we’re adapting our Smart Farm system at the moment, so that they’ll use the system to schedule and track the activities of that boat as well, using Dynamics Field Service.”
More broadly Dynamics Field Service will be used to manage and track Tassal’s asset base that spans everything from pens and nets to feed barges.
“Then we essentially use the work order functionality to track jobs- and that can be proactive,” says Leary. In a complex business such as aquaculture, where much of the farming takes place in pens in open waters it’s important to have clarity about what is happening where, when and why.
“We’ve been doing a bit of work in one particular site here in Tasmania we call West of Wedge, which is, at the moment, one of the roughest salmon farming sites in the world,” says Leary. “We’ve had a couple of trial pens there for the last 12 months, and as part of that, we’ve had IoT (Internet of Things) sensors placed on infrastructure under and on top of the water. Force and movement type sensors sitting on the mooring systems, testing strains and the conditions that these ropes and mooring systems are subject to.
“We have installed GPS location sensors on some of the floating infrastructure, so that in the event of storms we can track them if they are damaged and prevent marine debris problems.”
On the sustainability front, Tassal is also using data, analytics and the Power Platform to capture information particularly regarding the “benthic environment” – the seabed below the salmon pens.
Tassal has to adhere to strict environmental regulations about the health of the benthic environment and is reliant on accurate and up to date data for reporting and to make decisions about the best time to relocate pens.