The overall goal for the salmonid group in the DECIDE project is to develop decision support tools for cultured Atlantic salmon in open-ocean net pens (Norway, Scotland, Ireland) and rainbow trout in ponds (Denmark). The focus will be on monitoring and predicting mortality, which is a proxy for health and welfare of cultured fish. Our aim is to develop automatic warnings indicating when mortality differs from expected. Additional information like sea lice count, environmental parameters or reported diseases will be used to enhance the predictions. Stakeholder needs will be central in this development, and data used will be as much as possible open sourced.
The feasibility to develop a multiple-country dashboard for Atlantic salmon mortality will also be explored. This may serve as an early warning system for participating and other regions, possibly of interest to countries farming salmonids in the North-Atlantic Ocean. The rationale for this is the open contact between farms in different countries, because of water currents, boat traffic and trination operating farming companies
Models aimed at describing mortality and identifying variables explaining mortality are being developed and used as basis for the pilot implementation of salmonids. Among these models is a state-space model for monitoring purposes and generalized linear models for temporal aberration detection. Once these models are developed, the sensitivity of the monitoring system will be tested, using historical data on mortality, as well as relevant explanatory variables, such as fish weight, salmon lice-related factors, and sea water temperature. The possibilities of using the models in early warning systems for monitoring of mortality and detection of disease outbreaks will be evaluated.
An early version of a dashboard is being used in workshops to obtain insights regarding stakeholders needs, for example, how they would use the dashboard, and who should have access to it. In parallel, we will investigate the incentives for controlling diseases, using the cost of control of sea lice as an example. Control of sea lice is mandatory with the aim of reducing the burden of sea lice on wild fish, but the costs of control are carried by the individual farmers.
We will also start investigating how and when stakeholders would use the disease-monitoring dashboard, and how it will help in decision making, such as changing biosecurity measures on boat traffic between regions and between countries. In parallel, we will investigate the incentives for controlling diseases, using the cost of control of sea lice as an example. Control of sea lice is largely performed with the aim of reducing the burden of sea lice on wild fish, but the costs of control are carried by the individual farmers. Finally, we will explore farmers perception of control programs, using the control of Pancreas Disease (which is notifiable in Norway) and of Cardiomyopathy Syndrome (which is not notifiable anywhere) as examples.
Investigate possibility of collecting mortality data and putative explanatory variables for mortality for cultured Atlantic salmon in open-ocean net pens
Investigate stakeholder needs based on an early prototype dashboard (Feedback loop 1)
Model baseline mortality for Atlantic salmon (using different modelling approaches)
Comparing and evaluating modelling approaches
Further develop prototype dashboards focusing on mortality
Investigate stakeholder opinions on the improved decision support tools (Feedback loop 2)
Investigate stakeholder opinions on refined dashboard (Feedback loop 2)
Investigate the possibility and needs to launch the decision support tools