Dominique Bureau is the Co-Founder and CSO of Wittaya Aqua International, a technology company developing cutting-edge feed and production management tools for aquaculture.

Dominique Bureau, Co-Founder and CSO, Wittaya Aqua International
Dominique Bureau, Co-Founder and CSO, Wittaya Aqua International

What challenges can data solve for Blue Food producers?

“You can’t improve something you can’t measure” is a valuable quote by famous management guru Peter Druker. From data, information can be gathered and knowledge can be derived. Systematic compilation and analysis of data are processes that have helped many sectors of the agri-food industry improve significantly. At Wittaya Aqua, through data and our innovative proprietary data analysis and forecasting models, we have already developed a deeper understanding of factors that hinder the productivity of aquaculture operations.

Where is the data gap in Blue Food?

The gap is not so much in terms of amount of data but what aquaculture producers do with it. Most aquaculture producers love data! They measure water quality, sample their animals on a regular basis, record the amount of feed served, etc. However, this information is compiled, stored and used in highly disparate ways. Moreover, a significant proportion of the data gathered appears to be biased or inaccurate or often “made up”. The main gap is in the effective and objective compilation, standardization, integration and analysis of the data. That is what we are working on at Wittaya Aqua with our software platforms.

What are the challenges of utilising digital monitoring within ocean production?

From my perspective, the main challenge in the utilisation of digital monitoring and using data and models to predict production and feed requirement for aquaculture operations is that some operations are at the mercy of Mother Nature. There is a need for approaches that can meaningfully help predict changes in environmental factors (water temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, etc) that can affect the growth, metabolism and behaviour of animals. Once fairly accurate predictions of environmental conditions are available, in general reliable forecast of production and feed requirement can be developed using our innovative models.

Dominique will join the panel ‘The Power of Data: Accelerating Digitalisation to Harness Blue Food’s Growth’ with leaders from THE YIELD LAB ASIA PACIFIC, SCOOT SCIENCE, AQUABYTE, DSM and IBM at the summit in London on May 23-24. Check out the agenda here.