New CIT Project Brings Hi-Tech to Aquaculture Water Monitoring

New CIT Project Brings Hi-Tech to Aquaculture Water Monitoring

Published on: Thursday, 20 March 2014


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CIT Researchers are involved in a wide variety of projects using optics and photonics and now, as part of the new AquaMMS project, researchers at the CIT Centre for Advanced Photonics and Process Analysis (CAPPA) are involved in the development of a device monitoring water quality in the Aquaculture sector.
AquaMMS is a €1.5M EU funded research project under the European Union’s Seventh Framework which funds European SMEs with limited R&D capabilities and allows them to access the high quality research expertise such as that available in CIT’s CAPPA centre.
The device will use an array of advanced approaches, including mass spectrometry and optical technologies, to measure a wide range of parameters that can affect the water quality in fish farms, more specifically in recirculation systems (RAS). This new technology will provide fish farmers with immediate advanced warning of potential harmful substances, such as toxic chemicals and algal or bacterial metabolites. This will allow the farmer time to take a management decision like increasing oxygen flow or employing a specific water treatment to rectify the problem.
CAPPA researchers are using Ultraviolet light and special chemical layers, through which the levels of specific “harmful” pollutants can be monitored in water systems. Combining this technology with other sensing based systems will provide a means for fish farmers to accurately monitor their systems.
Dr Liam Lewis, Senior Researcher at CAPPA  said: “These projects are an excellent illustration of how CAPPA can help local and EU based industry to grow and develop and gain significant marketplace advantage in their target areas.
The project is an idea developed by Q-Technologies, a UK company that develops miniature mass spectrometry sensors for environmental monitoring. Q-Technologies combined forces with Faaltech, a specialist water monitoring and sensor manufacturing company based in Cork; BAMO, Germany, a leading distributor of advanced sensor technology to the European market; Anglesey Aquaculture, UK, who operate one of the leading companies in the production of seabass in the world, and Telemarkroye, a Norway-based Arctic char producer.
The CAPPA centre will carry out the research needed to modify and develop the AquaMMS technology for use in the aquaculture industry along with colleagues in the University of Liverpool, and the Project Coordinators, Teknologisk Institutt, Norway.
Head of Faaltech, Mr Pat O Leary said: “The development of this technology will result in the ability to significantly reduce chronic low levels of pollutants impacting the growth and survival of farmed stock. It will also lead to a reduction in disease outbreaks and an improvement in the quality of the final product.”

Paul Leyton of Tower Aqua Products explains the operation and key parameters that need to be monitored in their Abalone plant near the Beara Peninsula in West Cork.


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