Aquaculture Software DownUnder
Sunday, January 9, 2005
Aqua Assist is continuing to grow its presence as the premier supplier of management software for the aquaculture industry in
Company founder, Rob Bronstein, had his first taste of the aquaculture market some years ago when he developed some software to help a local aquaculture feed manufacturing plant, which is now operated by Skretting Australia, to track and manage its raw materials and products.
Having developed an interest in aquaculture and also having a family association with a local salmon farm, Rob established Aqua Assist which then developed Salmon Assist, working with Huon Aquaculture Company, which operates a sea cage based Atlantic salmon farm at Hideaway Bay, south of Hobart. Salmon Assist provides complete stock management for the farm, tracking fish by year class and cage, and catering for grading and other transfers between cages. Fish growth and feed are both monitored and size prediction, based on feed conversion ratios (FCRs), is a feature of the software. The tracking of feed batches and fish genealogy enables traceability to be maintained right across the farm. Other features of the software include cage management, fish health, mortality recording, environmental monitoring, harvesting and sales.
The software is menu driven (see below) and intuitive to use. It provides a single view of the whole farm in the one package through its comprehensive range of online and printed reports. While Salmon Assist has been developed for cage based Atlantic salmon farming, it can easily be adapted for other finfish, whether they are farmed in cages, tanks or ponds.
The waters of southern Australia are also conducive to the growth of abalone (green lip and black lip), and Aqua Assist collaborated with Great Southern Waters, a land based abalone farm on the Bellarine Peninsula in southern Victoria, for the development of Abalone Assist. Similar in its capabilities to Salmon Assist, Abalone Assist also provides menu based management of the whole abalone farm. In this case, spawning, fertilization and hatch outs are also tracked as part of the stock management process.
Another popular species for farming (or in this case, ranching) in Australian waters is the southern blue fin tuna. Aqua Assist worked with Australian Fishing Enterprises, the largest tuna producer in
Hatchery Assist is a package for the management of fin fish hatcheries and has been used to date for Atlantic salmon, rainbow and brown trout and
Process Assist is a package for the management of seafood processing. It tracks suppliers, orders, customers and consignments, again integrating with scales.
After Aqua Assist was formed, the feed software that really started it all formally became Feed Assist. This package tracks raw materials and their suppliers as well as manufactured feed and its customers. It also interfaces to the feed formulation software and the SCADA system that manages the actual manufacturing.