Visit to CEFAS

After our visit to MOWI, we spent the night in Edinburgh and took an early morning flight to Norwich, from where we took a car to Lowestoft where CEFAS is located.

CEFAS is an independent government agency involved in maritime research. Cefas Tech Limited (CFL) is a subsidiary, which works in close collaboration with CEFAS, and produces the technology for maritime and freshwater research.

The CEFAS team showed tags, to track fish, as well as sensors, to track the composition of the water.  Furthermore, they showed us a weighing scale to seamlessly add the weights in the database. The tags are not useful for our research as the fish are in one location so we don’t need to track them. After they showed us their equipment, we discussed how they can design a bespoke system for us. Their systems are very durable and high-quality but the price was accordingly high, which might cause a problem for artisanal farners. Nevertheless, CEFAS said that they would look into our requirements and try to design a system that is more affordable.

The tag is inserted in the fish and when the fish ejects it or is caught, the orange buoys make it float on the water so it can easily be recognised and picked up. The tags have a small battery and store the data locally, which are then read using the serial interface.

Findings

CEFAS and its subsidiary CEFAS Tech were interesting partners to meet and although their research and development is more geared toward sea environments rather than freshwater environments, we think that their modular approach (a bit like MOWI does but in CEFAS everything is engineered in-house) toward monitoring equipment can be an example to follow.

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