Alaya, in alliance with the company ORBE XXI, offers the Data Driven Aquaculture service, which allows reducing costs in different stages of the aquaculture processes.
The aquaculture industry has grown rapidly. In 1974 it produced 7% of the total aquatic products on the planet, while in 2022 it has reached 57%, surpassing extractive fishing and being the main source of food from hydrobiological resources. Likewise, it is the food production activity that grows at the highest rate on the planet.
In the next 30 years, the planet's population is expected to grow by more than 25%. “This means thinking today about how we are going to feed ourselves sustainably,” explains Innovasea aquaculture scientist Jennie Korus. In order for the demand for sustainable sources of protein for all of these people to be met, production will need to increase. “Efficient aquaculture practices will be crucial, and smart, data-driven aquaculture is the way to achieve this,” he says.
In this sense, Adolfo Alvial, director of the company dedicated to defining, building and executing innovation strategies in the ORBE XXI aquaculture sector, explains: "The reduction of costs is very urgent today, given the world scenario that is coming upon us in which quality food from seafood will be more necessary. Demand is going to grow and therefore there will be very strong competition between suppliers from different countries”. On the other hand, he adds that it will be necessary to make "products at reasonable prices available to consumers and try to reach much broader social strata."
Data Driven Aquaculture (DDA): how data and analytics make processes more efficient
In the aquaculture value chain there are a series of complicated steps, such as breeding bacteria to purify water in sophisticated recirculating systems, maintaining the chemical composition, maintaining a perfect balance between biological and technical aspects, carrying out complex processes food, and many others. Knowing the data, analyzing it and predicting it helps enormously in the process, both in closed culture systems in ponds, and semi-closed ones in the sea or in bodies of fresh water.
Price Waterhouse Cooper noted at Seafood Barometer 2021 that there is “low value added in standalone hardware investments, but when combined with advanced analytics and data platforms, the value-add potential is enormous.” The company also noted that since 2017 the aquaculture industry is shifting from reactive to proactive decision processes, investing in data platforms and advanced analytics. In their research, 91% of the leading aquaculture companies surveyed said they expect to make major investments to improve culture biology, sustainability and profitability.
In Chile, Alaya and Orbe XXI formed an alliance to provide an innovative service to the aquaculture industry, which initially focused on salmon farming. "We are convinced that in the value chain of this industry there are many spaces to optimize operations by reducing costs" explains Adolfo Alvial.
"We define the service with Alaya, taking advantage of the remarkable capabilities it has in its years of analytical experience applied to other industries and the capabilities of ORBE XXI as an advisor who has been in the industry for 35 years focused on issues that have to do with strategic development, innovation, and business evaluation throughout the value chain”, he indicates.
Analytics is applied to complex production processes, which are multifactorial. Based on data collection, artificial intelligence and analytics that integrates a series of variables, it supports decision makers by delivering recommendations.
DDA of Alaya and ORBE XXI
The service that this alliance offers is a generic offer that is adapted to each particular company. It has currently been applied to processing and fattening plants, but it can be replicated at any stage of the chain to reduce costs.
First, the team meets with the company and explains how the process works. The challenge is defined below: “We clearly identify what we want to optimize. We always ask companies to identify the process they want to optimize in terms of value”, explains Adolfo Alvial.
The next step is data analysis. For this, a confidentiality contract is signed, where the company delivers the existing data of the process that is going to be intervened. If data is missing, it is recommended how to take it.
Once the analysis is finished, which takes about a month, ORBE XII and Alaya explain to the client how costs could be reduced and the percentage of expected savings. In his experience, "the companies we have worked with have reduced their costs between 5% and 10% annually or per production cycle, depending on the processes," adds Adolfo Alvial. Solution development takes less than six months.
In addition to salmon farming, they have worked with other industries such as shrimp and amberjack abroad, where they have also identified cost reduction opportunities. "We are excited because we see that our service can significantly move the needle of productivity and competitiveness in aquaculture," concludes Adolfo Alvial.