Laser deterrent system employed at Mississippi fish farm
December 21, 2023
By Matt Jones
With egrets disrupting feeding routines and consuming up to 15 percent of the company’s fish every year, Mississippi’s Bear Creek Fisheries needed a solution. They found one with the Bird Control Group’s AVIX Autonomic Mark II laser deterrent system. Sales Manager Jeff Armes says that the company’s foray into aquaculture took place after they ran into a representative for water testing firm In-Situ at a trade show.
“At that point, the laser had mostly been used in agriculture,” says Armes. “The major work in aquaculture hadn’t been done yet, so we did a trial with In-Situ with a couple of their growers. And sure enough, just like the laser keeps the birds off the row crops, it was keeping the birds off the water pond. The birds can eat up to eight pounds of fish per day, and for years they had been getting devastated with bird problems.”
While the notion of a laser defense system likely conjures up images of a device frying up birds with some sort of high-intensity beam, Armes laughs as he ensures that isn’t the case. The lasers cause no harm to the birds themselves but simulate predator behavior to scare them away.
“We’ll program that laser to run zigzag lines in multiple randomized patterns,” says Armes. “The randomization keeps the birds from getting used to the laser. It’s nothing like the bird flies into the laser and it scares it away. The laser is just sitting there running these continuous patterns. And to me and you, say during the daytime, all we can see at the end of that laser beam is green on the water, but the bird sees that entire laser beam from the unit to where the laser is making contact with the water surface.”
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