Spotlight on Adroit Environmental Technology at the Ahumoana o Aotearoa Conference

The Aotearoa New Zealand Aquaculture industry was back in force for the 2022 Ahumoana o Aotearoa Conference last month in Nelson.
Gary Hooper, Chief Executive of Aquaculture New Zealand says that “The Aquaculture Conference has always been a popular event, valued for its thoughtful content, social engagement, trade components and of course the culinary showcase of the world’s best salmon, oysters, and mussels proudly presented by the producers at the cocktail evening.
Aquaculture environmental monitoring
The recent Covid disruptions meant that it’s been three years since our last sector conference and people welcomed the opportunity to reconnect in person – so much so that the event was oversubscribed with over 500 registration enquiries.

The venue’s capacity was capped at 400 and unfortunately, some people will have to wait for next year’s conference,”

Gary Hooper

Chief Executive, Aquaculture New Zealand

Hooper says that despite the heightened global uncertainty, the economic headwinds and unpredictable weather patterns, the vibe of the conference was energised and positive.
“There was a clear focus on strengthening the sector’s resilience, making further productivity gains, continuing to build on our excellent sustainability attributes and ensuring we include all stakeholders in our journey.

“The conference theme Ahumoana o Aotearoa ‘Aquaculture for New Zealand’ reflected the sector’s inherent growth opportunity where environmental, cultural and social considerations are cornerstones.

“We also recognise that research, innovation and technology will be key to making progress and it was particularly encouraging to see companies like Adroit and Spark bringing their unique tech-focused capabilities to support our ambitions,” he said.

Aquaculture using iot

Adroit’s Guy Macpherson and Ben Dunkin from Spark were invited to speak in the ‘Shellfish – Environment’ breakout to 250 delegates on the topic of Utilising Environmental Monitoring in Aquaculture.

Macpherson reports that environmental monitoring technology was a hot topic, with enormous interest from delegates.

We met operators really wanting to understand more about what’s happening in the ocean, how that affects their harvest, how it affects their compliance and health and safety, and having the best product possible for their brand.

I think there’s been a huge growth in interest, which is a real positive to hear

Guy Macpherson


The conference was a who’s-who of the industry, so being able to speak about Adroit’s working installations around the country, including mussel farms in Clevedon, Salmon farms in Marlborough, and environmental water monitoring in catchments, rivers and harbours around the country, really struck a chord with delegates.

“We had some of the key influential people within the space talking about how farm operators have the opportunity for environmental monitoring on their farms, to give them a more granular understanding of what’s actually happening within the environment.

“So when it came time for us to talk, people had been hearing about the on-going challenges and were really open to hearing about some of our solutions,” Macpherson says.

The Adroit/Spark session was introduced by renowned aquaculture pioneer Ted Culley and they shared the session with the Cawthorn Institute.

“That was pretty prestigious for us. After that, we had an influx of different farm operators and influential people coming and wanting to chat about what we’re doing at Adroit and how they could potentially work with us,” he says.

One of the farms we talked with had been closed for three months in the past year due to compliance, and it was about understanding how our solutions could start giving them more data to give them better insight into how to improve the situation.
Guy Macpherson

“Three months out of commission is a significant cost to a business, and in terms of our solution, the cost-benefit is huge. So, we’re progressing the solution with them and will hopefully get that up and running in the next month or so,” he said.

Overall, Guy says the conference was incredible, with some very significant challenges highlighted, matched with inspiring insights on the potential of technology to support the sector.

“With average sea temperatures projected to increase by 1.4 degrees by 2060, and by almost 3 degrees by the end of the century, there are wide implications for marine life, including fisheries and aquaculture. This means that by mid-century we may be facing 260 days of marine heatwaves per year.

“At Adroit we’re incredibly proud to be providing the innovative technology that the sector needs to survive these challenges and to keep feeding the people of Aotearoa and the world.”
“We look forward to being at the Ahumoana o Aotearoa Conference next year!”

Adroit Environmental Monitoring Solutions

As an end to end solution provider, Adroit supplied the device hardware, IoT connectivity, nationwide installation, maintenance, and ongoing support.

Adroit has proven solutions, not just for construction, but for all environmental monitoring applications, including waterway and water catchment monitoring, agriculture and aquaculture water quality monitoring, workplace environmental monitoring, and solutions for urban and regional environmental monitoring.