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Andrew Lawrence | March 23rd, 2020
It’s hard to imagine a fish farm these days that doesn’t have a Deep Trekker on it, and yet, many farms are hesitant to fully embrace ROV technology despite the obvious benefits. The intention of this blog is to show you the benefits of Deep Trekker’s aquaculture specific tools.
A safer and more easily-deployable alternative to commercial and staff divers, Deep Trekker ROVs provide operators with a reliable way to perform a wide variety of tasks around the farm. With an ROV, operators can easily make net inspections a part of their daily routine to quickly monitor the daily wear and tear that can cause fish escapes, but also to identify holes when pest incursions are suspected. Often fish farms are located in rural and remote areas that are hard to reach. These days, many commercial dive teams are unwilling or unable to get to remote sites in a reasonable amount of time. If you suspect you have a hole in your net, the easiest way to find out is to deploy a DTG3, which can be done in less than 30 seconds.
A Deep Trekker ROV can also be used to monitor fish health. Sampling is time-consuming and raises the cortisol level of fish. At certain times of the year when oxygen levels are lower, farms try to minimize handling to prevent loss. A DTG3 is a useful alternative to help assess fish health, while not meaningfully affecting cortisol levels. The new DTG3 has built-in temperature, depth and oxygen sensors available, so you can get an accurate environmental profile of each of your pens in mere minutes.
Having worked for EWOS for several years, I understand that aquafeed is by a long-shot the most expensive investment any fish farm makes. Many of our customers are using our ROVs and the DTPod submersible camera to minimize feed waste. A Deep Trekker ROV or DTPod is a vital tool for any effective feed management strategy. Feeding to satiation is a very common practice, but it really only allows you to see when fish at the surface have fed adequately. Weaker or smaller fish below the surface may not be able to compete for feed at the surface, and by the time feed has reached them it may be minimal, or it could have floated out of the pen entirely. A DTPod can be suspended by a winch and then rotated to ensure you’re getting a full picture of how satiated all of your fish are. This may also cut down on the amount of grading necessary, saving vital time that can be spent on more productive tasks.
Water and sediment sampling are a regular part of farm operations. We’ve seen some truly creative ways to do them over the years, and many of our customers are pleasantly surprised to learn that we have both a water sampler and a sediment sampler that they can use with either their DTG3 or their Revolution. Both samplers mount up quickly and easily onto the same grabber arm that is typically used for retrieving lost tools and cell phones that were cleverly placed in top pockets.
There are a number of things that cause morts, many of them beyond our control. Mort uplift systems are useful, but most morts do not end up being automatically uplifted and need a little help. Typically divers are still used for this, which is an efficient way to carry out this work, but whenever you’re putting divers in, your risk is elevated and accidents do happen. A DTG3 or a Revolution equipped with our Mort Pusher is a very effective and perfectly safe way to move morts into the uplift.
Perhaps the most exciting innovation we’ve launched recently is the new DTG3 Precision Thruster, a vertically mounted thruster that is perfect for doing vertical net inspections, navigating pens and holding depth while pushing morts, for example.
From our rugged weatherproof controller to aquaculture-specific add-ons, Deep Trekker ROVs are made for this kind of work. Powerful lithium-ion batteries propel our ROVs, while easy to pull Pelican cases allow users to quickly deploy them across the whole site, even on grated boardwalks. Durable and portable, Deep Trekker ROVs can hold up against anything you can throw at them.
With numerous vehicle line-ups, packages and add-ons, choosing the right ROV for you can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. If you haven’t met me, please watch this video and then get in touch with me to discuss:
I would be more than happy to help you choose the right package for your farm.
Both the DTG3 and Revolution have been used very effectively by fish farms all over the world. The DTG3 is the more portable and easier deployed option, while the Revolution is more useful in regions that face consistently higher currents. If you cannot rely on timing deployment, the Revolution may be a better choice for you. The DTG3 Smart is ideal for visual inspections, while the DTG3 Expert, equipped with a grabber arm, allows you to carry out a multitude of tasks.
The Precision Thruster really is a game changer for the DTG3. It allows the ROV to hold its depth, move vertically without having to pitch the ROV, and make minor adjustments to depth during inspections and retrievals.
Both the DTG3 and Revolution can be equipped with heading, depth, temperature and oxygen sensors, which make them a powerful tool for understanding the environment in which your fish live. We’ve also partnered with Aquatroll to integrate their multiparameter sonde onto either of the DTG3 or Revolution. The sonde can simultaneously carry up to four environmental sensors, like chlorophyll or phosphorus. It’s conceivable that one of our ROVs could be used to detect algal blooms before they reach your farm, or potentially in RAS to detect dangerously high levels of phosphorus.
Ask us about ROVs and get your fish farm a convenient inspection option on hand
Deep Trekker’s mort pusher helps operators quickly and effectively push morts into the uplift system or bring them directly to the surface for post-mortem examinations.
The cutter tool adds even more capability to your ROV. The rotating cutter head can be used to cut rope, line or netting up to 12mm in diameter.
Deep Trekker’s Net Repair Patch allows operators to place a temporary patch over holes in nets, allowing you to keep your fish in and keep predators out. If you spot a hole and you can’t get a diver in to patch it right away, Deep Trekker’s new Net Repair Patch tool can be mounted right on the front of the DTG3 and can cover or pull holes shut.
The Water Sampler and Sediment Sampler are inexpensive add-ons that make collecting government-mandated benthic samples far easier and more accurate.
We’ve partnered with Seatrac to bring USBL (ultra short baseline) technology to our ROVs. USBL allows you to track the GPS location of your ROV on a Google Map that pops up on the controller’s screen. This is vital technology for doing site surveys, benthic inspections, and checking the location of moorings before and after large storms and surges.
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Learn more about Deep Trekker ROVs in the aquaculture industry by checking out our blog. We recommend 5 Ways ROVs Improve Fish Health and The Cost Benefits of Using an ROV in Aquaculture. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of industry experts.
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