Alphabet has presented a ‘moonshot’ that falls under its experimental division. This project will allow cameras to monitor thousands of individual fish in fish farms. Ultimately, this should also have positive effects for the oceans and wild fish stocks.
Alphabet calls the project Tidal. It is part of X, the experimental division in which the company places projects to see if they can grow into independent companies. It is still mainly about getting a better understanding of what goes on underwater. Tidal focuses on one small part of this problem, which is exploring new means to help fish farm owners with useful information and eco-friendly methods to grow their business.
The company says it has surveyed fishmongers around the world over the past three years. This would have shown that the farmers are happy to contribute to, among other things, detecting diseases earlier and limiting the use of chemicals. Today, health decisions for thousands of captive fish are still made on the basis of inspecting a few individual fish retrieved from the water. According to Alphabet, this is time-consuming, unreliable and makes scaling impossible.
Tidal is an underwater camera system with systems that can interpret the behavior of fish, which would not be visible to the human eye. According to Alphabet, the software used can track, observe and record their behavior at the same time. This concerns, for example, their eating behavior and environmental factors such as temperature and oxygen levels. According to the company, this gives farmers the ability to better monitor the health of their fish and make smarter decisions about managing the closed reservoirs for the fish.
Alphabet writes that fish have a relatively low carbon dioxide footprint compared to other sources of animal protein and that they are very important for feeding three billion people. According to Alphabet, this means that helping fish farm owners can ultimately be very important for humanity and the health of the oceans. The idea is, among other things, that this project can alleviate some of the pressure on the wild fish population in the oceans when keeping fish in confined spaces becomes very attractive from an economic and environmental point of view.