Harmful algal blooms, jellyfish and parasites outbreaks, pollution are on top of the list of ghosts that haunt fish farmers all over the world. In an interview by Jason Holland (Global Aquaculture Advocate), Simone Campara, one of the founders of ColomboSky, explained why a global approach is needed to solve the several environmental challenges that hinder the profitability of the global aquaculture industry. Marine aquaculture companies use probes deployed inside cages to measure physical and chemical parameters and gain the necessary information for the management of daily operations. Despite this system gives a good picture of the situation inside the cage, it does not allow to account for any further threat. Oceans are complex and so are ocean threats: a regional approach is therefore needed to predict and mitigate environmental risks jeopardising aquaculture activities. AquaX, the web platform created by ColomboSky that offers satellite-based water monitoring services tailored to the specific needs of fish farmers, perfectly fits in this global approach. In fact, ‘satellites allow a much better understanding of what’s happening in the water surrounding the fish pens’ said Campara.

Thanks to this approach, AquaX not only exploits satellite images to detecting HABs originating offshore before they approach the fish pens, but also is able to forecast the set of water conditions that can potentially trigger algal blooms. ‘That’s the real change’ he said: providing the industry with forecasting tools to enable farmers to be proactive rather than just passively subjected to natural calamities.