Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces Visual Assessment of Aquaculture Pens Project

(Montreal, Quebec) Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) today announced the launch of the Visual Assessment of Aquaculture Pens Project. This project will develop visual assessment capabilities for Independent Robotic’s (IR) Aqua2 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) which enables autonomous observation of aquaculture net pens, supporting aquaculture production processes.

The project’s scope includes the development of algorithms for visually assessing fish health by counting, performing mass estimation, and evaluating cage infrastructure, as well as detecting population mortality levels, expressed as “mort” in the industry. Independent Robotics is leading this endeavor to address the challenges of assessing fish health in open-water aquaculture pens, detecting and removing mort in a timely manner, and identifying and repairing damage to cage infrastructure. To execute these tasks, IR will be deploying its updated Aqua2 Mk3, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The project’s immediate goals focus on visual assessments for fish, mort, and infrastructure. It also lays the foundation for this broader vision by providing valuable insights to aquaculture operators in the short term, while aligning with long-term objectives.

Independent Robotics will be working alongside collaborators Cooke Aquaculture, Fleming College Centre for Innovative Aquaculture Production (CIAP), and Fleming College Centre for Advancement in Mechatronics and Industrial Internet of Things (CAMIIT). This project has a total value of $300,000. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is investing $150,000 with the balance of funding coming from project partners.


“Through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the Government of Canada is pleased to support Canada’s Ocean Cluster as it drives AI solutions for Canadian ocean companies. This project, one of nine projects announced today by OSC, will make aquaculture production processes more efficient by equipping autonomous vehicles with the capacity to inspect open-net pens.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“AI in ocean has the potential to help transform the way we do ocean business. Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced the Visual Assessment of Aquaculture Pens Project which leverages the power of AI and advancing technologies to monitor and assess aquaculture pens as the industry continues to grow in response to global demand for protein.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“The Aqua2 is the ideal technology for such a project. Its unique fin propulsion system, quieter than traditional propellers, is more easily accepted by marine fauna, making close-in observations feasible. Its AI-enabled operating software incorporates machine learning and deep learning for real-time data capture and analysis that will drive efficient decision-making. We cannot wait to get started.” – Independent Robotics CEO, Pedro Gregorio.

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 85 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit

Media Contacts:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster