We would like to notice that our “Investigation for sudden deaths of farm-raised Japanese jack mackerel” with Uchiura Fishery Cooperative has been given the governor’s award in TECH BEAT Shizuoka Award 2022 that aim to honor collaborative projects among Shizuoka-based companies and startups.
About TECH BEAT Shizuoka Award 2022
Following a business matching event “TECH BEAT Shizuoka” that aimed to match Shizuoka-based companies with startups, a session to honor outstanding cooperation among the projects conducted in 2021 and another session on “Food tech”, which aim to solve food-related social problems with cutting-edge technology, were held online.
About the cooperative project of MizLinx and Uchiura Fishery Cooperative
With the expansion of the aquaculture industry, fish farming is increasing its sense of existence, and it is indicated that more than half of the fishery production in the world is by fish farming. One of the critical issues with fish farming is the mass mortality of farm-raised fish in fish cages.
As the only sea-farm to raise Japanese jack mackerel in Shizuoka Prefecture, farmed mackerel in Numazu-Uchiura area accounted for 61%(513 t) of the nation-wide production in 2019 and 71%(643 million yen) of the national output in 2018, getting the evaluation as one of the top fisheries in Japan to produce mackerel, mainly shipping to Kanto area as a specialty of Numazu. However, in recent years, there have been many reports on mass mortality of farmed mackerel in Uchiura area, making the issue urgent in terms of protecting the brand of the area as well.
As many of the dead fish in Uchiura were reported to have died of oxygen deficiency, we established a hypothesis that oxygen deficient water inside fish cages was causing the mass mortality. To test this hypothesis, we set a remote observing system equipped with current sensors, dissolved oxygen meters, thermometers and cameras. This system can monitor not only the environmental factors such as sea temperature or dissolved oxygen level, but also movements in fish cages. Therefore, adding on to the detection of oxygen deficient water, we can clarify the relationship between the oxygen level in fish cages and the occurrence of mass mortality. Also, in this project, an investigation of the sea bottom of the whole Uchiura area is conducted, clarifying where in the Uchiura area the occurrences of oxygen deficient water are taking place. Combining this result with the data from current sensors, we can analyze the movement of oxygen deficient water in Uchiura area, making the prediction of mass mortality possible.
In this way, we analyze the set of data generally, aiming to build a environmental monitoring system that considers the whole Uchuira area as one fish farm environment, and we are trying to prevent the mass mortality of Japanese jack mackerel. We hope to contribute our findings not only to one fishery, but also to fish farming industry in Shizuoka prefecture and further to fisheries all around the world.
This project was conducted under Shizuoka prefecture, and aside from MizLinx and Uchiura Fishery Cooperative, Keio University (Takahashi Lab, Faculty of Science and Technology), WindyNetwork Inc., Shizuoka Prefectural Research Institute of Fishery and Ocean and Marine Open Innovation Institute also participated.
MizLinx was founded in August 2021 as a startup of ocean observation. We conduct measurements and analyses of marine environmental information and monitor the underwater environments with MizLinx monitor, making it possible to predict or prepare for natural disasters like red tide, typhoon or fish disease, and to analyze qualitative and quantitative data.