Dutch investment fund backs IoT based feed efficiency technology

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© Lerøy
© Lerøy
Aqua-Spark has invested in CageEye, a Norwegian technology firm using hydro-acoustics and machine learning to monitor the behavior of the biomass in a cage and improve salmon feeding processes.

Oslo-based CageEye’s fully automated system is said to substantially reduce feed waste, a significant cost for salmon producers. The company developed the technology in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research; it uses acoustic data and advanced analytics to detect when the fish are hungry or full. 

CageEye Technology © CageEye

“Our acoustical system covers the whole feeding zone and makes consistent decisions meal after meal, which improve as we continue to train our models on growing datasets of salmon behavior and accompanying feed operator decisions,”​ said Bendik Søvegjarto, CEO of CageEye.

The owners of Aqua-Spark said this investment was their first in terms of supporting feeding optimization technology for cage farming.

“Improving feed and addressing feed loss have been a priority within our portfolio from Aqua-Spark’s inception, as it is the greatest challenge for any fish farm,”​ said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, the co-founders of the Dutch fund, which tends to invest in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) that are working towards sustainable fish farming. 

Velings told us CageEye's technology can help reduce feed wastage to close to 0%.

Inexact feeding regimes result in over or under feeding, which leads to significant feed losses, higher FCR and slower growth, they said. Even though the Norwegian salmon industry has some of the most advanced feeding practices, there is still a significant potential for improvement, they noted.

"With CageEye, we are able to support improvements in cage farm management, including how feed is distributed.

“We are excited to see how its behavior assessment technology will impact other areas of farming as the company matures,”​ added the Aqua-Spark owners.

Expansion plans 

Salmon producers in Norway are already using CageEye’s system.

"It is outstripping its predicted sales,"​ said Velings.

The company said it has identified opportunities to expand the use of the technology in salmon production in Canada, Chile, Tasmania and Scotland, as well as with other fish species.

"Theoretically, CageEye's technology can be used in all open water cage farming - seabass, for example,"​ said Velings.

CageEye said it has raised a total of €5.3m in funding and grants since 2016; it has also secured a total of €2.5m in funding for 2019.

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