Digital graphics give easy access to the outcome of complex analyses of vast amounts of data.

Fighting sea lice with artificial intelligence

War against the common challenge, the sea lice, has inspired some of the major players in aquaculture to cooperate. AquaCloud is a digital answer that is expected to create huge business value for the industry.

AquaCloud is an artificial intelligence system dedicated to help the aquaculture industry predict the development of sea lice to design the most efficient management regime, Björgólfur Hávarðsson, Innovation Manager in NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster, says.

Behind the pioneer project described as the industry’s most extensive joint innovation ever, are major companies like Marine Harvest, Lerøy Seafood, Grieg Seafood, SalmoNor, Bremnes Seashore and Ewos.

Billions to gain

The sea lice is the main challenge of the aquaculture industry. Treatment is expensive and stresses the fish to a degree that prevents growth. On an annual basis the sea lice costs the industry more than 10 billion NOK.

- If better prognosis can reduce the need for yearly treatment with only one or two treatments in each cage, the industry will gain approximately one billion NOK annually, Hávarðsson claims.

Internet of Things

AquaCloud will harvest huge amount of data from the sensors in the cages of the approximately 800 farms along the Norwegian coast. The measurements are taken through an extensive net of environmental sensors that measure oxygen, salinity and temperature. In the future, this net of sensors can be expanded to currents and waves as well as continuous environmental profiling, adding important knowledge to the industry. 

Artificial Intelligence

IBM’s Watson platform was chosen to analyze the vast amounts of data. Artificial Intelligence opens for use of existing analytic models as well as development of new ones as knowledge of how the system works, grow. Digital graphics will be used to present the results, for instance on a smartphone.

Business model

The technological obstructions will be cleared away during the autumn, Hávarðsson expects. Then they will need to develop a business model to ensure the future operations of AquaCloud.

- If better prognosis can reduce the need for yearly treatment with only one or two treatments in each cage, the industry will gain approximately one billion NOK annually, claims Björgólfur Hávarðsson in NCE Seafood Innovation Cluster.


- This is one of the most extensive joint innovation projects in Norwegian aquaculture, ever. The participants see the advantages of cooperation and the interest in sharing information is very strong, Hávarðsson claims.

- However, developing better management procedures for salmon lice is perhaps the least of the benefits and improvements that the aquaculture industry can harvest from this technology. But we start with this. It is beneficial to all involved, the industry, the environment and the society

Critical mass

The innovation manager boasts the broad involvement across different industries in the project. AquaCloud has potential to create positive effects for use of IoT in lots of areas, he predicts.

- Bergen has an environment where specialists from different industries meet and challenge each other. There is a rapidly accelerating force that soon will be reaching critical mass and turn the Ocean City Bergen into something akin to The Silicon Valley of aquaculture, Hávarðsson claims.