Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces $6.2M resident aquaculture cage inspection and reporting system project – Project Sentry
One of five Ocean Supercluster projects announced today
Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced five new projects with a total value of nearly $29 million, including Project Sentry. This Ontario-led project is developing a new remote aquaculture monitoring solution using in-cage remote operated and autonomous vehicle technology.
A key in sustainable open ocean aquaculture is the inspection and maintenance of quality net cages to minimize the risk of collapse, fish escapes, and ensure fish and ecosystem health over time. This new monitoring solution will enable the determination of where holes or tears in net cages have occurred using artificial intelligence, determine the position and volume of deceased fish in the cage, record photographs and video clips, as well as log the position and depth of in-cage issues for further assessment, all without operator intervention.
In Project Sentry, Deep Trekker will work with partner Visual Defence Inc. to create the new remote aquaculture monitoring solution. With a total project value of over $6.2 million, the Ocean Supercluster will provide $3 million with the balance coming from project partners.
This vehicle developed in the project will deploy on a periodic basis to perform inspections through various trophic levels. This solution will reduce reliance on physical human presence and the use of video, sensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in these in-cage vehicles will reduce the level of decision making for the human operator.
Project Sentry is expected to create and/or maintain 507 jobs, directly increasing Canada’s digital ocean workforce through the creation of jobs in AI, Machine Learning, cloud-based data processing, mechatronics, and software engineering. Additionally, the creation of a caged aquaculture specific AI engine combined with autonomous underwater vehicle technology will significantly increase the digital capabilities of participating organizations by creating a scalable solution that can be applied to a wide variety of underwater inspection tasks.
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. The Ocean Supercluster has approved projects with a total value of more than $320 million which will deliver more than 100 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
“Our government is ensuring our oceans and marine ecosystems remain clean and healthy for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The Ocean Supercluster projects announced today will help us build a cleaner post-pandemic economy and achieve environmental sustainability on a global scale. Projects such as the one led by Deep Trekker are taking innovation further and making lasting contributions by developing novel solutions.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is excited to announce this new aquaculture monitoring solution that will revitalize the assessment, monitoring, and characterization of in-cage fish, while also building capabilities, creating jobs, and economic opportunities through its commercialization.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster
“We are extremely excited about the increases in system autonomy, intelligence and advanced modelling that this project will bring to the Deep Trekker offering overall. Together with Visual Defense, we will integrate artificial intelligence for to find and document anomalies. The systems will use a cloud-based reporting engine to remove the burden of sifting through hours of information in order to document findings. Furthermore, a resident system ensures that inspections are done frequently and thoroughly, regardless of weather and ocean conditions that can prevent boats from reaching the sites. With the expertise and knowledge of Canadian aquaculture leaders guiding the project, we will ensure that this solution is purpose-built for the future of aquaculture world-wide.” – Sam Macdonald, President of Deep Trekker