A tool to maintain fish health
– QuantiDoc offers continuous monitoring of the frontline barriers of gills, skin, and guts. These frontline barriers are the fish’s primary defence against disease and environmental stress, Karin Pittman, CEO, says.
For fish welfare, growth and survival, these barriers must remain robust and responsive. It is a crucial component of the fish’s defence against its surroundings, and without a strong defence, the fish won’t have the necessary health and robustness.
Pittman explains that over the past decade, they have developed the operational tool VERIBARR™ to become the quantitative industry standard for verifying and maintaining the health and robustness of fish frontline barriers, now covering 13 species worldwide.
– Our solution and technology help fish farmers detect potential problems 3-4 weeks before other systems or technologies helping them take the needed preventive measures, she says.
The importance of healthy barriers
Ensuring the well-being of frontline barriers – the gills, skin, and guts – is of vital importance for a fish farmer.
By maintaining healthy barriers, fish can efficiently absorb nutrients, bolster disease resistance, and experience overall improved welfare in aquaculture settings.
Over the past decade, the biological cost of fish farming has risen significantly. QuantiDoc is therefore looking at the fish’s barrier defence to better the situation.
– By implementing continuous barrier control the industry can effectively mitigate biological risks, leading to more optimized and efficient production processes. This approach will not only enhance fish health and welfare, but also contribute to the overall sustainability and profitability of fish farming operations, Pittman states.
The case is that even a small virus can bring havoc by causing disease. The first line of defence is the mucosal frontline surfaces, which is the largest site of host-pathogen interaction (or fighting) in any animal system.
Pittman explains that QuantiDoc specialises in measuring the defence activity in mucosal barriers with VERIBARR™, safeguarding the frontline barriers.
By taking 4-5 biopsies every 3-4 weeks per facility, they can use machine learning and the database they have built for 12 years to monitor cell change.
– VERIBARR™ is a unique operational tool to understand how the fish immune system reacts to production routines, environment, food, and other factors in fish farming systems. It revolutionizes fish farming by enabling early detection of health issues, prompt treatment, and preventive measures, leading to improved fish health, reduced disease outbreaks, and enhanced overall welfare, she says.
The company’s future plans involve expanding the adoption of VERIBARR and QuantiDoc’s solutions in the seafood industry. According to them, the most challenging aspect of being in the seafood industry is breaking into an established industry and gaining market acceptance for innovative solutions.
– The aim is to collaborate with more fish farmers, feed producers, researchers, and stakeholders to further enhance fish health, welfare, and overall industry sustainability. At the moment we are looking for three fish farmers who want to test out continuous barrier control for a complete production cycle, Pittman says.
– We are convinced that implementing this will give immediate results in improved fish health and production for the fish farmer.