Tech firm uses big data to help control sea lice
By Liza Mayer
Its current focus might be Norway but the developers of Manolin Innsikt are confident it’s just a matter of time before the sea lice management platform becomes available to farmers in other salmon farming jurisdictions.
Manolin Innsikt (Innsikt is Norwegian for “insight”) is a health analytics software that enables salmon farmers measure the effectiveness of their sea lice treatments. It also helps them discover where to best focus their efforts by comparing their results with those of other users.
“One of the toughest things with sea lice is it is unpredictable. You can have five treatments that work and then a sixth treatment that just randomly fails. It’s hard to have information to understand why that’s happening. So we’re giving you information from across the industry so that you can compare not only against yourself but against your neighbors, or the rest of the country, to determine if your strategy is working or not,” Tony Chen, co-founder and CEO of the US-based startup, tells Aquaculture North America (ANA).
Access to information is available through annual membership. Users can keep track, on the dashboard, real-time insights on sea lice such as sea lice reports and alerts, which are crucial in pest management, says Chen. “Information transfer regarding sea lice needs to flow extremely quickly in order to coordinate the most effective response to an outbreak. Our technology is aimed at exactly that, informing our customers as soon as possible when activity has been detected so that they respond. The faster the industry is able to respond, the more manageable the issue becomes,” Chen tells Hatch, a Norway-based business accelerator that provided the company seed funding.
The product was first introduced early this year in Norway, where it was developed and field-tested. Chen says there are plans to roll out the product in other countries where salmon is farmed. “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. We definitely have plans. It’s just that Norway is the perfect political ecosystem for our type of product right now, but we have plans of being back in the States for sure. That’s where we started.”
But while the data collected is currently focused on Norway, there’s plenty knowledge to be gleaned about sea lice treatment and management, he adds. “I think it could be applicable across the entire salmon industry. Sea lice are an industry-wide issue. Any salmon aquaculture operation that struggles with sea lice can learn insights and trends and patterns from it.”