ASTOR: an automatic offshore fish farming design

Muhammad Akbar Hardian, Dinda Febriani Analiyah, and Brigitta Violyna El Tito.

IO, Surabaya – As a maritime country with a sea area of 3.25 million square kilometers, Indonesia has tremendous potential, one aspect of which is in the form of offshore fish farming. To optimize this potential, three students of the Department of Marine Engineering, Faculty of Marine Technology, Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Surabaya, initiated the design of a solar-powered automatic offshore tuna cultivation tool.

The team, named “Prayers of Father and Mother” (“Doa Ayah Ibu”) is chaired by Muhammad Akbar Hardian and consists of Dinda Febriani Analiyah and Brigitta Violna El Tito. According to Dinda, Indonesia has great marine potential and this needs to be maximized. “One of the great potentials that needs to be maximized is offshore tuna cultivation,” she said, as quoted in a release received by the Independent Observer, Wednesday (24/3/2021).

Furthermore, this student who was born in 2001 stated that currently offshore fish farming in Indonesia is still done manually. It takes about 15 to 20 people per day to take care of a fish farm. Of course, there are work risks faced, such as the high number of work accidents. “Offshore fish cultivation in Indonesia is not efficient,” she said.

Departing from these problems, the Prayers of Father and Mother Team innovated a design of an offshore fish farming tool called ASTOR, which stands for Automatic Offshore Aquaculture with Solar Energy. This tool is designed to increase offshore tuna aquaculture production. Tuna is a huge potential that Indonesia has with a potential income contribution of USD 480 million per year.

ASTOR is designed to operate automatically, equipped with a monitoring system, feeding system, food storage, solar cell system, operational storage and security system using CCTV cameras. Feeding in this system is done through a feeder that is directly connected to the monitoring system. The entire system can work on electrical energy generated by solar cells.

Feeding by the system is carried out twice a day. The feeder will receive commands from sensors in the monitor system to start feeding. The sensor on the monitor is divided into two parts: the underwater sensor and the underwater camera. The two sensors are attached to the wall of the pond cage made of HDPE pipe.

The sensor in the monitoring system has been set to determine the right time to feed the fish. The sensor can tell if fish are hungry through their behavior. Usually, hungry fish will rise to the surface and come under the surface when they are full. “Besides, the sensor in the monitor system can also determine the quality of the water by measuring its pH level,” said Dinda.

ASTOR, according to Dinda, will make it easier for fishermen to control and feed fish automatically with out having to go offshore because it can be controlled from land. ASTOR can make offshore fish farming more efficient, minimize work risks, and can increase tuna production.

Tuna is currently in the category of overfishing which can lead to extinction. Increasing tuna production is needed to cover the needs of tuna fish in Indonesia. “Cultivating tuna using ASTOR is the right way to overcome these obstacles because it can help increase fish production through sustainable production,” she said.

The efforts of the Prayers of Father and Mother Team for approximately three months finally yielded amazing results. The team that originated the ASTOR design was included in 10 teams selected from among 50 existing teams as finalists for the Paper and Poster Competition in the 2021 Indonesia Ocean Expo organized by the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), at the end of the month. “Our paper won the title as the paper with the best poster,” she said proudly.

Dinda and the team hope that the design innovation will help Indonesia to better utilize the potential of the sea, especially for sustainable tuna cultivation. It is also hoped that the design of this tool can be realized soon. (est)