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Development of two telemetry-based systems for monitoring the feeding behaviour of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in aquaculture sea-cages

Føre, Martin, Alfredsen, Jo Arve, Gronningsater, Aage
Computers and electronics in agriculture 2011 v.76 no.2 pp. 240-251
Salmo salar, acoustics, algorithms, aquaculture, farm management, feeding behavior, fish behavior, fish farms, monitoring, salmon, swimming, telemetry
Two novel acoustic transmitter tags intended to reflect feeding behaviours in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) were developed and tested in this study. Using information from the literature and video recordings of feeding salmon, measurements of swimming depth and motion (acceleration) were identified as two promising sensing principles on which to base the tag development. Video footage and laboratory studies were used to develop corresponding algorithms that translated depth and acceleration measurements into compound parameters reflecting the different aspects that discern feeding activity from other activities. Field tests performed in a sea-farm were used to verify the functionality of the tags, and indicated that both tag types had potential in distinguishing between feeding and non-feeding behaviour. Additionally, both depth- and acceleration-based tags were seen to have applications to fish monitoring and farm management beyond that of observing feeding in salmon, in giving recordings of the vertical swimming behaviour of fish over extended periods of time as well as indications of the activity changes of fish due to external influences. These results suggest that fish telemetry using sensor-based transmitter tags could represent a useful tool in future fish farm management.