Fish is the main source of protein for 1 billion people around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For the rest of the people, this food supposes between 13.8% and 16.5% of the world protein intake. But although humanity has been raising fish through aquaculture since ancient times, the technique is associated with environmental and sustainability problems. To solve them without giving up the practice, Pieter Fabry has designed Observe Technologies, a system whose algorithms allow fish farms to optimize their feeding process. Thanks to this project, he is one of the Innovators under 35 Europe 2018 of MIT Technology Review.
After participating in Entrepreneur First, a start-up acceleration program in the United Kingdom, Fabry, who has a master's degree in electronic engineering from Imperial College London (United Kingdom) and has worked in the British capital, New York (USA) and in Singapore, was clear about his intention to make the world a more sustainable place. After months of experimenting with blockchain technology, he listened to a friend's recommendations on how artificial intelligence (AI) could help fish farmers. This is how his technology was born, which avoids wasting food for fish while protecting the environment
“If you fly over an area with many fish farms, you will see that the subsoil has a kind of algae. It is the excess of food that is very harmful to the fish and the environment”, Fabry explains. To provide a solution, Observe Technologies’ algorithms can alert the farmer when overfeeding occurs. In addition, thanks to artificial intelligence, you can foresee the moment in the future when it will happen again and avoid it. The technology uses the screens and sensors that the farms already use on a regular basis. This young innovator says: “We do not want to be invasive, but to help the farmers in their daily life”.
“It is an innovative and unique project”, affirms the founder and executive director of AHAOW and member of the jury of Innovators under 35 Europe 2018, Beatriz Lara. “If the comments of the fish farmers are incorporated, Observe Technologies could have a great impact because it contributes to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” she adds. The judge believes that Fabry “is very young and possesses an innate entrepreneurial spirit. He has made his way from being an artificial intelligence developer to being at the head of the scientific know-how of Observe Technologies.”
Translation: Ana Milutinovic