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FINDIT - A cutting edge platform for data management and analysis to assist European fish aquaculture in its development towards higher performance and competitiveness

The FindIT project has developed a stand-alone Web-based platform for aquaculture hatchery and farm data management and analysis, which comprises a database for infrastructure, inputs and livestock monitoring where data can be provided manually or through sensors. Multi-variate analysis, using data mining technology, of farm operations and processes allows the rapid analysis of stock/farm performance and identification of drifts from anticipated results. Machine learning, from historical data/results, allows the proposal of process decision trees for the selection of variants and, hence, improvement. The flexibility of the system allows the incorporation of ancillary data for certification and standardisation measures.

Developed by a consortium containing ICT professionals and commercial hatcheries and farms, FindIT has demonstrated proof-of-concept in its approach to improving aquaculture operational performance analytics. Focusing initially on Northern (salmon) and Mediterranean (seabass/seabream) hatcheries and juvenile production, FindIT can be set up for both individual real-time site/farm monitoring or for comparative benchmarking. Focus has been given to simplifying data entry, notably by automating links to existing farm management software systems.

By accessing current and historical data, users are able to compare and analyse all aspects of farm management, including growth and food conversion, and access automatically generated reports on farm performance. Influences on juvenile malformations have also been quantified and assessed.

FindIT is now a functional prototype that, based on existing data from consortium partners, provides new data management possibilities. Use of FindIT has shown the value of analytics to decision making in both hatchery and farm management. The capacity to benchmark performance, in-house and through comparison to anonymous farm data, provides a valuable opportunity for self-assessment.

This approach has also identified the need for training and expert support services for rapid uptake of the system in professional circumstances.

The project has examined the issues of data ownership and intellectual property and has prepared draft license agreements so as to pursue data entry by new users, allowing the constitution of new and large data sets that are needed for applying the full capacity of FindIT. Expansion to other species and farming systems has been accommodated into FindIT’s design and operational capacity.

The consortium’s intention is to promote and develop FindIT further, through the creation of a new company that will host and operate the FindIT platform, provide training and support services and complete the development of FindIT. Decision for this will be taken upon agreement of a business plan by the consortium partners in 2016.

FEAP was the coordinator of this 2 year project that started 01/12/2013 and ended 30/11/2015.