Fisheries & Aquaculture News

Innovasea Launches HydroAI to Help Hydro Dam Operators Improve Efficiency and Environmental Compliance

Innovasea, a global leader in technologically advanced aquatic solutions for aquaculture and fish tracking, introduced HydroAI, a revolutionary solution that combines high-resolution video cameras with AI-powered, cloud-based software to automatically provide accurate real-time fish counts and species identification in and around hydro-power plants.

The HydroAI cameras integrate easily with existing fish passage infrastructure to capture images of fish around the clock. The AI-powered software uses machine learning to autonomously count and identify fish with a high degree of accuracy, providing valuable data about fish that are onsite, upstream, and downstream of a hydro plant. Empowered with accurate, comprehensive, real-time data about the fish in and around a dam, operators can react more quickly to dynamic conditions and make better operational decisions to ensure that fish pass safely through dam infrastructure.

The solution replaces the labor-intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone processes of manually counting and identifying fish onsite or in video footage. The data is delivered to the cloud in real-time to facilitate data sharing and transparency between hydro dam operations and regulatory authorities.

“HydroAI is a breakthrough technology that solves key problems hydropower plants face every day,” said Innovasea CEO David Kelly. “With HydroAI, dam operators save valuable personnel time and get comprehensive, accurate data on fish activity, which enables them to improve environmental mitigation, comply with environmental regulations and potentially decrease unnecessary plant shutdowns.”

“Our solution is highly relevant for hydropower, tidal power and nuclear power plant settings, including those that are in remote locations or harsh environments where it is nearly impossible to manually monitor fish,” said Innovasea President Mark Jollymore. He noted that Innovasea has been a global leader in developing acoustic telemetry for fish research for nearly 40 years, and the HydroAI solution is a “new and essential tool for researchers who study fish passage and survival in power plant settings.”

There are seven HydroAI systems installed across three Nova Scotia Power sites, and another Nova Scotia Power site installation is planned for fall 2024. A study regarding HydroAI’s success in the field has been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Marine Science.

Innovasea initially developed the technology behind HydroAI when it led a project called OceanAware under the auspices of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, which supports, develops, and commercializes profitable and sustainable solutions for monitoring fish health, fish movement and ocean environments. Building on the early success of the technology, Innovasea then launched the HydroAware project, a $10.5 million R&D initiative that aims to improve aquatic animal research in dynamic water environments—the types of locations ideal for hydropower and tidal power.


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