Aquaculture Information Management

Aquaculture production is a detailed process with many elements.  Here are some basic elements associated with raising fish.

Aquaculture Information Management

Aquaculture Information Management (AIM) is a database system which provides data entry masks and file management for  60 files.   It is designed to store data, perform simple calculations and interface with spread sheets (see SAP).
The goal of this software is to organize production data in order to better manage and simulate an aquaculture installation.   As aquaculture becomes a more visible activity it is vulnerable to mis-information, regulations and controversy.  Detailed information can resolve many questions and provide assistance for consensus building.
The following “screen shots” illustrate the application and provide information concerning production data and methods.

Main Menu (top)
Most aquaculture installations have basic functions.  Although the names and procedure can vary, the functions remain similar. We grouped these functions and tasks into :
Installation         – Defining a site and its basic material
Daily                – Biological Production
Art/Rot/Alg      – Production of artemia, rotifers, algae,
Reproduction   – Reproduction processes
Occasional       – Occasional and non-production activities
Simulation       – Simulation options

Food Details Menu

File Control (top)
All data entry mask are accompanied by a control window, shown below.  This menu permits the users to perform operation upon the data file.

Operations include : Add – add a record, Beg – go to beginning of file, Copy – copy the current record, Del – delete current record, End – go to the end of the file, Find – locate and list specific records, Next – skip to next record, Prev – skip back one record, Quit – quit and return to main menu.

Installation (top)
An installation is defined with basic information (i.e. name, address, legal status, geographical location, etc.) which usually remains static.

Tanks (top)
An installation is also defined by the number and type of tanks, cages, circulation systems etc.  Tanks can be added, changed or deleted from an installation.  A tank can have an independent circulation system or be grouped with other tanks and be part of circuit.  If the tank is part of a circuit it may be the tank from which measurements are taken.

Daily (top)
Daily activities, or production has several components.  Larva, Weaning, Breeders, Deaths, Miscellaneous, Tanks and Units.
Much of the daily information can be provided by in circuit sensors which transmit data directly to the computer for incorporation into the database.

Larva_daily.gif (13067 bytes)
Larva Daily

Larva – Daily (top)
Daily Larva contains information about the larva production.  Data like “Physio-Chemical”, “Feeding” and “Opening of the Tank” is grouped.

Larvae – Sample (top)
Installation personnel sample larva (often daily) in order to control health and provide indications for feeding and growth.  In the screen, individuals which are sampled can be uniquely identified or grouped into a lot.  Calculations are performed in order to provide an overview of  the groups health and performance.

Sample_daily.gif (11551 bytes)

Weaning_daily.gif (11439 bytes)

Weaning (top)

The weaning of larva from live food to pellets is performed over a period of several days.  Artemia, Rotifers and other live foods are slowly replaced with dry food.  This screen and associated data file follow the evolution of this process.

Initial_breeder.gif (9961 bytes)

Breeders  – Initial (top)
Breed stock are initialized by placing them in a tank or by moving individuals from one tank to another.

Daily_breeder.gif (10404 bytes)

Breeders – Daily (top)
Breeder are fed a varity of foods, both live and processed plus other daily activities.

Daily_death.gif (5533 bytes)

Deaths (top)
Deaths can occur in any tank.  The above screen is for recording all deaths, no matter where they occur.

Enrichment.gif (5681 bytes)

Enrichment (top)
If a food supply is enriched with vitamins or other products the information (time, tank, etc.) is recorded to the food enrichment data file.

Miscellaneous (top)
This screen is provided to record observations which are general in nature.

Miscellanious.gif (6728 bytes)

Daily_tanks.gif (8777 bytes)

Daily – Tanks (top)
Data unique to a tank, as opposed to a tank in a circuit are entered into the database using this screen mask..

Units (top)
Units, or circuits are a group of tanks connected to each other, usually via a water circuit.  A unit usually produces the same animals.  In our example there are 8 unit types : Breeders, Incubation, Larvae, Weaning, Pre-growing, Artemia, Rotifers and Algae.

Daily_units.gif (16612 bytes)

Artemia / Rotifers / Algae Production (top)
Many aquaculture farms produce live foods for their own larvae.  The production of these micro-organisms is a process, not unlike raising fish.  For example, artemia production requires several steps, decapulation, enriching their food supply, hatching and distribution to the larva production tanks, for consumption.

Artima_Decap.gif (8526 bytes)

Artemia – Decapulation (top)
The decapulation of artemia requires several steps depending upon different factors including the artemia type (A0 or A1), supplier and cysts per kilogram.

Artima_enrich.gif (10144 bytes)

Artemia – Enrichment (top)
Enrichment of artemia entails controlling the environment and noting what type of enrichment is used and under what conditions.

Artima_hatch.gif (9599 bytes)

Artemia – Hatching (top)
Sampling the Artemia during hatching provides data concerning the number hatched, the hatching rate and time they occurred.

Artima_request.gif (8620 bytes)

Artemia – Request (top)
This screen is used to “order” artemia from the production center.  Commands for artemia within an aquaculture installation are centralized so those responsible for artemia production can anticipate demand.

Artima_supply.gif (6812 bytes)

Artemia – Supplies (top)
This form is use as a “bill of delivery” for recording the delivery of artemia to the different production systems.

Rotifer_enrich1.gif (10581 bytes)

Rotifer_enrich2.gif (10452 bytes)

Rotifer – Enrichment (top)
Rotifers, like artemia, are produced for larva consumption.   The production of these micro-organisms is recorded using the following two screen masks.

Rotifer_daily.gif (14016 bytes)

Rotifer – Daily (top)
Several processes can be performed during the production of rotifers :  they are sampled, collected, the environment controlled, etc.  Productions is either Semi-continuous or batch.

Algae (top)
This section is under construction.

Reproduction (top)
Reproduction is divided into several steps : induction of females,   spawning, collection of eggs and filling the incubator.
Collecting the eggs and filling the incubator is required as eggs are spawned thus a system of sub-groups or “sub-batch numbers” is designed in order to form a “batch number”.

Induction.gif (10024 bytes)

Induction (top)
The induction process is recorded for posterity and management.  Females are usually moved to an induction tank where they can be observed during the spawning.

Spawning.gif (14470 bytes)

Spawning (top)
As eggs are produced observations and results are recorded using this screen mask.  The time of the observation is noted as the situation evolves.  Eggs are collected and processed (discarded, sold or incubated), those that are retained are assigned a sub-batch number.  Once the incubator is full, the group or lot, is assigned a batch number which is used to follow the lot throughout the production cycle.

Fill_incubater1.gif (13485 bytes)
Fill_incubater2.gif (9958 bytes)

Fill Incubator (top)
As the eggs are collected they are placed in an incubation tank.  As eggs hatch larva are controlled to provide an accurate data concerning the spawning and hatching processes.  The first screen is used to store data concerning the incubator and the eggs while the second screen mask is concerned with the hatching and survival of the larvae.

Occasional (top)
Occasional and non-production activities groups several activities.  The movement of fish from one tank to another, diagnosis and treatment .  Also   products and services purchased by the installation such as FoodEnrichmentsMedicinesVitaminsDisinfectants and  Small Material. This section also stores information concerning the installation’s infrastructure and functioning such as Fixed Costs, Salaries and   Investments.

Movement.gif (8986 bytes)

Movement (top)
The movement of fish from once tank to another is a common problem as it often entails separating and mixing of different lots. Often a new lot is formed from selected individuals of different lots based upon their size, mean weight or other criteria.  Tracking these operations is simplified using unique batch numbers for source and destination.

Diagnostic.gif (10025 bytes)

Diagnosis (top)
The diagnosis file records data concerning the evaluation of health problems.  Case numbers are assigned, individuals are sampled, diagnosed, values recorded and comments noted.

Treatment.gif (10220 bytes)

Treatment (top)
Treatment such as vitamins, antibiotic, etc are recorded in the treatment file.  Treatments can be performed at the circuits, tanks or individual level in solution or orally.

Consumables (top)
Consumables groups products and services which are purchased by the installation.  Consumables are divided into two groups infrastructure which include Fixed Costs, Salaries, Investments and production consumables such as :  FoodDetails of FoodEnrichmentsMedicinesVitaminsDisinfectants,   Small Material.

This information is important for accounting and simulation of production as it provides a detailed list of charges and obligations credited to the installation..

Fixed_costs.gif (8743 bytes)

Fixed Costs (top)
Fixed costs are divided into 13 categories : Assurance (livestock), Assurance (required), Energy, Gasoline, Accounting Expenses, Education Expenses, Reception Expenses, Travel Expenses, Miscellaneous (water, O2, etc…), Office Supplies, Repair, Transport for Purchases and Taxes & Charges.

Salaries.gif (9527 bytes)

Salaries (top)
Salaried employees are noted here.  This is data file and screen mask are available in order to obtain information concerning employee cost.  This information is necessary for simulation and the calculation of certain production costs.

Investments.gif (10757 bytes)

Investments (top)
Investments lists material which is required for production.   Equipment is grouped into 8 categories : 1)  Ocean Structure, 2) Ocean Equipment, 3) Construction, 4) Material for Functioning, 5) Production Control, 6) Security and Sanitary, 7) Processing & Commercial Equipment and  8) General Equipment.  Each piece of equipment is stored with its purchase date, unit price, number of units, length of amortization and type of VAT to be applied.

Administration (top)
Tools for optimizing and controlling the databases.
This section is under construction

Food.gif (12156 bytes)

Consumables – Food (top)
Food is divided into 2 sections the stock, or inventory and the details of the food.  The stock section stores information concerning the food supplier, purchase date, price and the foods basic composition.

Food_detail1.gif (5551 bytes)
Food_detail2.gif (6110 bytes)
Food_detail3.gif (6234 bytes)
Food_detail4.gif (5545 bytes)

Consumables – Details of Food (top)
The food details describes the composition of the food.  These details permit the calculation of nutrients distributed to the fish.  This information could provide invaluable when analyzing growth and health performance of the chaptel. For more information concerning nutrition see Nutrition.

Enrich_stock.gif (11219 bytes)

Consumables – Enrichment (top)
This file stores information concerning food enrichments, its usage and purchase information.

Medicine_stock.gif (10822 bytes)

Consumables – Medicines (top)
Medicines, like food and enrichments, are purchased and stored until required.  This file maintains a list of all the medicines in stock and their recommended uses.

Vitamins_stock.gif (10557 bytes)

Consumables – Vitamins (top)
Vitamins are also stocked in inventory until required.   This file is used to store all the information concerning vitamins, their use and the amount remaining in stock.

Disinfect_stock.gif (10237 bytes)

Consumables – Disinfectants (top)
Another type of consumable are disinfectants.

Small_material_stock.gif (10988 bytes)

Consumables -Small Material (top)
Small material groups all products which are not specifically grouped into the other consumables such as food, vitamins, disinfectants, etc.

Simulation (top)
The object of a database is to store production data in order to better understand and manage an aquaculture farm.  An important tool is the ability to simulate production into the future without experimenting with current production processes.   This section is designed to illustrate how one might simulate an aquaculture farm using real production data combined with various scenarios and models.   The goal is to develop a tool which could  signal potential problems and obstacles before they limit production and reduce profit.

Simulation_1.gif (13633 bytes)
Simulation_2.gif (11883 bytes)

Control (economic) (top)
Control is designed to activate or dis-activate major components of the simulation.  For example a simulation could include taxes, subventions, investments, etc.  Or just calculate the growth rate and food cost of a lot.

This screen lets the users select which reports to generate or print.

Simulation_lots.gif (13072 bytes)

Production (top)
This screen defines the lots and how they are to be simulated and what are the simulation stopping conditions.

Food (top)
Simulating production must also consider food and feeding strategies.  Calculations could be based upon feeding tables, (dynamic) ratios, inventory optimization or many other criteria and relations.
This section is under construction

Growth Models (top)
A model must be considered in its globality.   They are based upon a certain data set and experimental environment.  Their results and accuracy are based upon the data received and the complexity of the process being modeled.  Simulating fish growth, production of waste products and other biological processes is quite complex.  The many different interactions (physical / biological) occurring render models more inaccurate and results are difficult to repeat.
This section is under construction

Geo-Physic (top)
Changes in the physical environment are common.   Decreases in temperature, or current could adversely effect production at crucial moments.  The ability to change and test climatic scenarios,
This section is under construction

O2, NHx, CO2, etc. (top)
This section controls strategies and models effecting biological pollution.  Metabolic modeling is not just reserved for growth.  Biological processes must be anticipated, calculated and compensated  for.
This section is under construction

Fixed Costs (top)
Simulating fixed costs could entail several different stratgies.   Such as fixed cost which don’t vary or which vary as a percentages of production costs or tonnage produced.  Fixed costs coud also vary within in fixed limits in order to find and test critical constraints.
This section is under construction

Investments (top)
Invstments, like fixed costs, could be simulated using several different methods.
This section is under construction

Simulate (top)
This section is under construction

Conclusion (top)
This section is under construction