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December 12, 2013

United States

Florida—Update on Larcos Aquaculture’s Postlarvae Counter

 

Eric Steimle, Will Flanery and Kurt Kramer, owners of Larcos Aquaculture, have invented a new way to accurately count shrimp postlarvae.  The men spent three years working on the project at the Vester Research Station in Bonita Springs, Florida, and are now working with VAKI, an Iceland company that specializes in fish counting equipment, to produce and market their invention.

 

The system uses the same camera technology that factories use to count bottles of soda or bags of chips as they pass by on a conveyor belt.  As the shrimp flow from one tank to another, they pass through a tiny box that counts and photographs each one, and their numbers and photos appear on a computer.  “It’s a counter, but it’s really precise and fast,” Steimle said. “It can count more than 50,000 a minute with 98 percent accuracy.”

 

Steimle said the system costs $15,000 to $20,000, which he believes will limit its use to large shrimp farming companies.  His plan is to work on ways to build an even better counter at a lower cost, so it will be affordable by smaller companies.  He also plans to adapt the invention to use on other small aquatic creatures such as lobster larvae, tiny sea cucumbers or newly born tropical fish.

 

“It looks very promising,” said Sverrir Hakonarson, a product developer at VAKI.

 

Information: Sverrir Hakonarson, VAKI Aquaculture Systems, Ltd., Akralind 4, 201 Kópavogur, Iceland (phone +354-595-3004, mobile +354-897-6809, fax +354-595-3001, email sverrir@vaki.is, webpage http://www.vaki.com).

 

Information: Eric Steimle, Ph.D., Program Manager (phone 1-727-492-8951, email eric@larcosaqua.com); Will Flanery, Embedded Systems Engineer (phone 1-727-804-5807, email will@larcosaqua.com), and Kurt Kramer, Ph.D., Research Software Engineer (phone 1-813-263-4837, email kurt@larcosaqua.com), Larcos Aquaculture (fax 1-727-851-9023, webpage http://www.larcosaqua.com).

 

Sources: 1. News-Press.com.  New Aquaculture Product Tested, Marketed in Bonita Springs.  Andrea Stetson.  December 11, 2013.  2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International.  Telephone conversation with Eric Steimle on December 12, 2013.

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