A British company has come out with a wireless environmental monitoring mechanism that sends a text message to alert fish farmers and breeders when their scaley charges require special attention. Leila Makki reports.
Fish farmers tend to stock greater numbers of fish in a given body of water than would be found in nature in order to maximise production. But overfishing depletes wild fish stock, leading to an overall degradation of the eco-system.
Large scale fishing demands an ideal environmental condition, which is often taxing on the farmers and breeders. Monitoring and controlling the environment for fish stock is critical to successful breeding but low-dissolved oxygen levels are responsible for more fish kills than all other problems combined.
UK manufacturer of customised wireless products, Wood & Douglas, have unveiled the Ultima GSM, a device that alerts the farmer’s mobile phone when oxygen levels drop.
“Properly managing water quality is one of the surest ways to assure fish health," said Alan Wood, Managing Director of Wood & Douglas. "Ultima GSM is a flexible response to the need for over-the-air status monitoring and control; simple to install, yet unaffected by operating in tough, remote conditions.
You can now rely on receiving data and controlling response to any changes in water quality, reducing fish stress and improving production efficiency.”
The rugged wireless telemetry module sends out environmental status alerts alerts to mobile phones and/or email accounts. A text message initiates digital outputs which can be used to remotely adjust heating and cooling systems or respond to changes in the chemical balance of the water.
The Ultima GSM unit has four digital inputs to allow connections to a range of environmental sensors for monitoring of temperature, levels of dissolved gases such oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, levels of ammonia or changes in pH. The device delivers regular status updates, or can be polled with a status request at any time via an SMS message.
“With concerns over the potential environmental risks arising from the growing popularity of cage fish farms, Ultima GSM becomes a primary tool for maintaining sustainability of healthy environmental conditions, and should therefore be a key consideration when aquaculturists are considering developing coastal investments,” added Wood.
According to the company, a serial port on the device enables connection with its Orion modem to create a powerful combination of Radio Terminal Unit, modem, and GSM/GPRS module to extend wireless data collection from even the most remote of farming sites.
The Ultima GSM features an IP67 rating - making it dust and water repellent and is operable between -20°C to + 55°C.
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