As commercial kelp farms continue to expand in Norway, autonomous methods for monitoring of growth, biomass and biofouling become increasingly important. This project aims to develop optical methods for these purposes.
The main aim of this research project is to take some major steps towards automated underwater monitoring of kelp-farms, by using cameras mounted on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), to estimate macroalgal biomass and biofouling. In parallel, integrated ecological monitoring (plankton and kelp biomass and water quality) will be used by deploying environmental and biological sensors at the farm, which will help us to investigate the physical and biological factors associated with the onset of biofouling organisms in late spring.
This project is part of the Young Research Talent grant and funded by the Norwegian Research Council (Project number 315514). The monitoring and the optical techniques will be refined at a commercial kelp farm, run by Seaweed Solutions, on the island of Frøya in Trøndelag.