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Drones are Transforming Aquaculture

Producing almost half of the fish consumed by the world’s growing population, aquaculture is one of the world’s fastest-growing food-producing sectors, contributing decisively to global food supply and economic growth.

The global aquaculture market is valued at US$204 billion and is expected to reach US$262 billion by the end of 2026, as reported by the United Nations International Trade Administration.

Economic assessment aside, for aquaculture to be effective, it must be as sustainable as possible. it is no coincidence that aquaculture is mentioned in all 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda; moreover, in terms of sustainability, fisheries and aquaculture management is one of the most relevant aspects of the Blue Economy.

In order to improve aquaculture and make it more sustainable, drone technology can be of great help.

Using artificial intelligence, it is possible to monitor various aspects (water quality, temperature, general condition of farmed species, etc.), as well as to carry out comprehensive inspections and maintenance of farming infrastructure – thanks to drones.


Precision aquaculture using drones, LIDAR and swarm robots

The adoption of AI technology in aquaculture has set the stage for a look into the future of the industry, with a growing tendency to use digital technology to increase production and contribute to better living conditions for farmed biological species. AI is reportedly used to monitor and analyze data from various sources, such as water quality, fish health and environmental conditions. Not only that, but it is also being used to develop swarm robotics solutions: it involves the use of autonomous robots working together to achieve a common goal. In aquaculture, these robots can be used to monitor and control water quality, detect diseases and optimize production. It can also be used to automate the harvesting process, reducing labor costs and increasing efficiency.


Use of drones: Equipped with cameras and sensors, they can monitor aquaculture farms from above and measure water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity.

In addition to monitoring, they can be equipped with the right equipment to dispense feed at precise intervals to optimize feeding.

Camera-equipped drones and computer vision technology can help monitor the environment, weather conditions, control the propagation of plants or other “exotic” species, as well as identify potential sources of pollution and assess the impact of aquaculture operations on local ecosystems.

Early diagnosis of disease outbreaks is crucial for aquaculture. Drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can recognize changes in water temperature, which can be used as an indicator of pathological conditions. Finally, they can be used to deter birds and other pests that could pose a potential threat to aquaculture. Today, LIDAR technology can also be used as an alternative to aerial scanning. Drones equipped with this technology, which use lasers to measure distances and create detailed 3D maps of the bottom land, can provide further support for the future of aquaculture. Indeed, they can provide a non-invasive and cost-effective solution to collect accurate, real-time data on fish populations.

Post time: Dec-13-2023