Phone company launches data service for aquaculture farmers
2017-08-31 18:13:45   copyfrom:    hits:

The new service is being tested at oyster farms (Photo: Stock File)JAPANThursday, August 31, 2017,00:40 (GMT + 9

 
The new service is being tested at oyster farms. (Photo: Stock File)

 

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Thursday, August 31, 2017, 00:40 (GMT + 9)

 

Phone company NTT Docomo Inc. will launch a service to provide aquaculture operators with sea data via smartphones, including water temperatures, collected with the use of special buoys equipped with information and communication technology.

As a test trial, these buoys have been placed at seaweed and oyster farms in various municipalities, including Higashimatsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, which was hit hard by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, The Japan Times reported.

The mobile phone operator hopes that the new service will be used widely by fisheries cooperatives and others across the country for reinvigorating the industry or promoting post-disaster reconstruction.

The firm’s officials explained that the service is expected to be billed on a monthly basis, while startup costs will be required separately.

Initially, the company will provide ICT buoys, each 1.3 meters tall and weighing some 60 kg, for use in shallow water at seaweed farms.

The buoys, equipped with communications functions, will measure water temperatures and salt levels every hour with sensors installed on the underside.

Users can check conditions at the aqua farms through numerical data and graphs that will be sent from the buoys and displayed on their smartphones via a dedicated app.

Apart from farming centres, the service is expected to favour seaweed growers, who need to visit their crops several times a day to check conditions during the two-week growing period because even slight water temperature changes can affect the taste and quality of the product.

“The service will enable seaweed farmers to better prepare for their work and save time going out to sea,” said Futoshi Aizawa, a seaweed farmer in Higashimatsushima, who participated in the ICT buoy tests.

Tests of the buoys have also been conducted at a seaweed farm in the Ariake Sea, off the west coast of Kyushu, since last October as part of steps to support reconstruction after a series of strong earthquakes that mainly hit Kumamoto Prefecture in April last year. 

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