The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jul/Aug 2019


Eye on the seafloor

JW Fishers' dropped video systems critical to aquaculture ops

DV-2 system in custom frame

Aquaculture specialists perform their research to gain knowledge and develop their skills in the farming of aquatic life and to better understand the necessary tasks for the preservation of these species. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has determined that 50% of the world’s food-fish come from aquaculture fish farms.

With a skyrocketing global population and food demands growing at an incredible rate, the aquaculture specialist’s job is no easy task. The first necessity is having the “right tools for the job”.

This is where USA-based JW Fishers’ 50-plus years of experience manufacturing underwater search equipment comes into play. The company’s underwater video systems are a perfect tool for underwater research. The DV-2 dropped video system is a clear example of a video system that can be mounted in a frame and set on the floor of the ocean for fish observations in their natural habitat. The DV-2 comes standard with two 1200-lumen LED lights, 150 feet (46 metres) of Kevlar reinforced cable and a 500-foot (152-metre) depth rated housing.


Sweeney International Marine Corp and SIMCorp Marine Environmental, operating under the umbrella of SIMCorp, are Canadian companies with extensive experience in the field of aquaculture. SIMCorp operates out of two locations, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The company provides a full range of aquaculture management services to support the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the industry.

SIMCorp has several teams of professional marine environmental biologists and technicians, who are fully equipped to work with customers on all aspects of aquaculture production as it relates to environmental sustainability. A recent operation was completed off the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia where the SIMCorp field crew was conducting a baseline benthic habitat survey.

“The majority of our work is with the fish farming sector – Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout – throughout Atlantic Canada where we are working on both proposed and existing aquaculture sites at depths of 20 metres to 300 metres,” says senior project manager Bob Sweeney. “In this particular case, an aquaculture producer retained our services to initially scope an area to assess its potential for aquaculture development.

“Following the scoping exercise, we were once again asked to conduct a detailed benthic habitat survey. These surveys are conducted in accordance with standard operating procedures established by the regulatory authorities requiring that we install the DV-2 in a measured frame to give scale to what is being filmed on the seafloor. There must be adequate light and resolution to not only characterise the sediment type but to also positively identify flora and fauna to a scale of one centimetre.”


Sweeney says the DV-2 underwater video footage, complete with the date-timestamp and GPS overlay, is especially critical to the company’s surveys. The geo-referenced data inputs into a complex model that predicts the depositional contours of the aquaculture operation as well as a comprehensive habitat map of the seafloor. All of this data, along with the video footage, is included in the reports prepared for SIMCorps’s clients, who in-turn submit the survey results to the regulatory authorities.

“Very simply put, the JW Fishers DV-2, along with the VRM-2 video recording monitor, meets all of our expectations and for that reason we will be acquiring another system,” he says.

  • VRM-2 video recording monitor





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