Poster Session 4, Thursday, October 6, 11:00–12:40
Developing optical methods for seaweed biomass estimation and biofouling growth in cultivated kelp farms
Cultivated macroalgae (seaweed) is considered one of the largest under-exploited sustainable global biomass resources, for both food and energy, and a growing industry with great potential in Europe. As kelp farms continue to expand, autonomous methods for monitoring of growth, biomass and biofouling become increasingly important. This project (MoniTARE) aims to develop an open source, optical and imaging method where, in the future, seaweed farmers can apply this technology themselves to decide when to harvest to maximize high quality biomass. Growth of the sugar kelp, Saccharina latissima, was monitored during slack tide and once every two weeks from February to June 2022 in a commercial kelp farm located in the coast of mid-Norway. For seaweed length and biomass estimation, a built-in Full HD camera, in addition to GoPro stereo-cameras, were mounted on the Blueye – a mini, portable and affordable remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Several methods were used for accurate lamina length estimations and were compared to manual measurements of size. Our results are an initial step towards autonomous identification and quantification of kelp biomass using computer vision and artificial intelligence. These findings are a first step towards revolutionizing biomass monitoring in the seaweed aquaculture industry, with the potential to influence decision-making regarding management and optimization of cultivation at sea.
Martin Overrein, NTNU, [email protected]
David Aldridge, Seaweed Solutions, [email protected]
Geir Johnsen, NTNU, [email protected]