Smart Fishing Technology

crab boat2

Blue Ocean Gear, a participant of the Ocean and Clean Technology Program in Nova Scotia was selected as a round one winner for the Blue Solutions Startup Challenge. The company focuses on making smart commercial fishing gear that minimizes wild life entanglements and energy savings for boat operators by providing them with real time data on catches and equipment. This benefits all the stakeholders involved such as the operators, fisheries, environmentalist, consumers and governing agencies. The technology is fairly simple and off the shelf, and has already been deployed in the industry. It works by having the gear trap cages send a signal up to the buoys that they’re full and then a signal is sent to the operators via an app. This allows for the operator to save on fuel cost by not having to blindly travel to pick up possibly empty cages. The gear also notifies operators of possible marine life entanglements so that could alert the proper rescue agencies to save the wildlife. Another feature is that the gear provides retrieval information data for lost gear which saves on lost gear costs.

By Octavio Franco


Reply to Pablo Mandiola’s “Elevated Bike Path to Fight Congestion”

This is an interesting concept that has been adopted in the past for buses and light rail congestion in some cities. I’m not certain what the data suggested concerning its success or failure, but it seems like a good solution.




Retrofitting as Water Saving Technology

ecoystems brothers

Richard and Lawrence Lamondin started a company called EcoSystems back in 2012 and have saved their real estate clients 1.1 billions gallons of water so far. The bothers initially began the company as CondoSavers, in which they consulted condominium owners on savings solutions. Their passion for water conservation led them to focus on the water and energy saving sectors by applying retrofitting solutions on all water intensive fixtures (such as toilets, shower heads etc).

  1. Sustainability Problem: Water Conservation
  2. Technology: Retrofitted fixtures that reduce water flow and water leakage reduction by detection
  3. Organizational Stakeholders: EcoSystem’s company employees, real estate owners and their tenants, other tenants in the retrofitted vicinity.
  4. Deploying Technology:  The technology has been deployed since 2012 and saved their clients a substantial amount both on water and energy cost.


Response to “How to Monitor Water Smartly” by LY2437:

To LY2427:

I’m assuming that this technology would be used to augment the Florida canal system that is already in place. Florida’s water management authority had engineered a series of canals to control excessive water flow but mostly to divert water to necessary regions such as the South Florida region to maintain positive pressure on the Biscayne Aquifer in order to prevent salt water intrusion. Of course, the system is aging so any new technological innovations such as this could help with the necessary water flow controls.


Re-Evaluating and Re-Designing Structural Systems and Procedures Already In Place As Alternative Solutions

Water spring near Oliena in Sardinia

1) Sustainability Problem: Irregular and Unreliable Water Supply from Improper Water Management

2) Technology Summary:

Install a Modern Water Management System by-

  • Repairing and stabilizing the water network using modern equipment
  • Locating and measuring inefficiencies in the water network
  • Rebuilding the aging infrastructure using modern parts and materials
  • Installing leak detectors in the water network for ongoing monitoring

3) Stakeholders:

  • The Italian government
  • Sardinia’s autonomous regional administrators (Council, Junta & President)
  • Oliena’s communal leaders
  • Oliena’s residents
  • Oliena’s farmers
  • The Hitachi Corporation

4) Technology Deployed: 

Modern off the shelf solutions implemented into a proper water management system for the regions aging water network. By locating inefficiencies such as network water leakages, the volume of water usage and waste was lowered along with the energy needed to pump the extra volumes of water.

by Octavio Franco 

oaf2118 / Fall 2017 Week 8

Response to Greentechsmartcities Post:

I think that building an infrastructure centered around renewable energy for this project, would be a step in the right direction under the Public Works Administration. There is some debate as to whether or not the New Deal project of 1933 successfully achieved its goal as a recovery instrument to stimulate economic activity, but there is little argument about its success in actually building an infrastructure that lasted many years and was beneficial to millions of people. I think that if the government approached this project from a PWA perspective without the emphasis on economic return but with an emphasis on the long term public benefits that would be derived from the project, it would be a viable supplemental solution to urban energy distribution.



Advancement in Bio-medical Technology Offers an Alternative to Antibiotic Treatment in the Aquaculture Industry

© brianskerry

Antibiotic treatments in the aquaculture industry has been a hot topic of debate for a few decades now. The possible negative effects to human welfare and environmental impact are a concern stemming from any possible development of bacterial resistance. The development of bacterial resistance can occur when any leftover antibiotics mixed into fish feeds or from the excretion of fish feces, settle in the sediment or are ingested by the wild fish population. Once introduced into the environment, “antibiotics alter the composition of the microbiota” (fishnavigator, 2017). This means that antibiotic resistant bacteria could replace non-resistant bacteria and could then limit the options available for treatment solutions in disease control.

Bacteriophages have been in the development stages in a project funded by the EU that was seeking for an alternative solution to using antibiotics in aquaculture. Unlike antibiotics that work broadly to kill all bacteria, Bacteriophages work by targeting only specific bacteria and they are fully natural so animals do not have to be in quarantine after treatment. The premise of the technology is similar to the probiotic technology for humans where maintaining a healthy digestive system prevents or reduces  diseases. The Polish company Proteon has developed a bacteriophage that they are marketing commercially under the name Bafador. The product is currently designed to combat two pathogens that are detrimental to farmed fish mortality rates: Pseudonomas and Aeromonas.

This technology should help increase the food production of fish farmers by decreasing the mortality rates of their stocks and lower the environmental/human health risk associated with the overuse of antibiotics.

proteon phage 2

An illustration of a bacteriophage attacking a bactera strain by Proteon.

By Octavio Franco / oaf2118 / Fall 2017

Response To: DNA Barcodes for Sustainable Seafood Production-

This seems like a promising tool to help government agencies in preventing fraudulent sales of illegal or mislabeled fish species. I was trying to figure out FishDNAID’s current business model. Their website offers services for a fee but they were not offering those services at all times. Also I wasn’t sure if they were affiliated with the Florida State University or if they were a private organization.
I think that exploring for a viable business model that could provide a stable revenue stream is certainly worth the effort.

oaf2118 / Fall 2017

Simple Technological Innovation Raises Productivity In The Shrimp Farming Industry

Sometimes by re-configuring dumb technology, a simple innovative solution could be attained that produces better results. The space needed to farm shrimp has been a constraint in the aquaculture industry for some time. Due to intense regulations concerning environmental factors, the most effective method to grow shrimp inland was in tubs operated with a flow systems. This system allows for the re-circulation of the limited water supply available and minimizes any effluent seepage, or soil contamination. The production capacity of the farm was limited to the space available because the tubs could only produce a limited amount of shrimp and thus made it cost prohibitive for American farmers to operate at a profitable level. This made importing shrimp a cheaper alternative and placed American farmers in a competitive disadvantage in the international market. In a NY Time article Dr. Addison L. Lawrence has figured out a simple solution to obtaining higher yields by re-configuring the same technology that was already available. Dr. Lawrence increased the volume of production by stacking the water tubs on top of each other and thus maximizing the use of the available space. This simple solution benefits all the industry’s stakeholders (American consumers, American farmers and the environment), by increasing the production level, lowering market prices and maintaining proper environmental stewardship.

Octavio Franco

To: JMB2408

I think that this water metering technology is a simple but innovative solution for better individual water management. The only drawback would be user incentive for those consumers in regions that are not currently affected by water stress. Those users tend to reside in more economically developed or affluent regions that could afford to buy the technology but are not motivated to do so due to plentiful clean water. On the other hand those that do need the technology are in less economically developed areas that can not afford the devices. In those situations I think that it would help the government by investing in the technology.


Better Option For Our Oceans With Biodegradable Plastic?

Plastic debris from bottles and other packaging isn’t the only source of pollution we face when it comes to maintaining our oceans healthy and free from plastics. The threat from plastic fibers in our clothing is just as detrimental to our oceans. Biodegradable plastics are already being used in the market for bottle manufacturing and other packaging needs. But the challenge to develop a biodegradable plastic fiber that is durable enough to use in manufacturing clothing has evaded scientist. In a Seeker article by Molly Fosco , Yiqi Yang a biological systems engineering professor from the University of Nebraska believes that he may have found to the solution. Prof. Yang has redeveloped the manufacturing process to make a more durable biodegrable fiber and has teamed up with Cargil to manufacture and develop this fiber. The collaboration effort though Natureworks will help to drastically reduce the amount of non-biodegradable plastic waste that is being dumped in our oceans and in turn affecting our food chain.

Octavio Franco

#oaf2118 / Fall 2017 – Week 3

Reply to Brian Balzar:

Hi Brian-

I have been interested in hydorponics for some time also since I first read about Dr. Marting Schreibman’s ( work at CUNY’s Brooklyn College. His work merges both aquaculture and hydroponics for a more sustainable process. The advancement in these technologies are vital to the food, water and energy nexus for the progression towards a sustainable process across all industries. If you ever get a chance I would enjoy talking to you about your experience in the field. Thanks.

Octavio Franco
#oaf2118 / Fall 2017 – Week 3

Promising Feed for Farm Raised Tuna

According to a Pew Trust industry report the global tuna industry  is valued in the billions of dollars annually. They reported that in 2014 alone the yearly take was $42.21B, slightly higher than the 2012 take of $41.63B. With the increase in demand for the species, global fish stocks have decreased and are in danger of being depleted towards extinction. In order to keep this from happening the Japanese mariculture industry has been trying to produce enough farm raised Blue Fin Tuna to meet the growing consumer demand for the product.

Total Value of 7 Most Commercially Important Tuna Species

The challenge in achieving their goal lies in increasing the mortality rate of the farmed tuna until they’re able to be harvested. The fish feeds that are currently available in the market cannot replicate the Tuna fish’s natural diet, therefore the Tuna are unable to reach maturity and die before harvesting.

A Nikkei Asian Review article reports that the Japanese company Feed One has developed a feed that could sufficiently raise the mortality level of the farmed raised Tuna towards maturity and subsequent harvesting.

The Yokohama based company has labeled the feed Ambrosia and has implemented the feed into production in a joint effort with a Sukumo based farm. Although only one other company has achieved a compete farming cycle with their Tuna, Feed One hopes to complete one also by November and market their Tuna under the brand name Tunagu.

by Octavio Franco

oaf2118 / Fall 2017 – Week 2

Cleaning Our Oceans

Ocean Cleanup Project

  1. Sustainability Problems Addressed: Water, Waste and Health
  2. Summary: A) The oceans are being littered with tons of plastic debris, with the Pacific garbage patch alone containing an estimated 5 million pieces of micro-plastic pieces, B) This affects our food chain as fish eat these micro plastic and we subsequently consume the same debris C) A student has developed a technology to capture 50% of the debris within the next five years D) The name of the project is named The Ocean Cleanup and found at
  3. State fisheries managers and environmental organizations
  4. The technology has just been deployed after a challenging start from the beginning of the year. The project has been heavily funded by silicon valley.


By Octavio Franco

oaf2118 / Fall 2017 – Week 2