A recent publication from the AQUAEXCEL2020 project by Kolarevic et al. (2021) describes the use of a novel miniaturised biosensor to monitor the swimming activity and respiratory frequency of Atlantic salmon. This new sensor ‘AEFishBIT’, was developed by CSIC and ULPGC in the framework of the AQUAEXCEL2020 project, and it was previously used to successfully record the individual physical activity and respiratory frequency of two Mediterranean farmed fish species (gilthead sea bream and European sea bass). The aim of this study, conducted by Nofima, CSIC and ULPGC, was to validate the use of the AEFishBIT sensor in another highly cultured species of economic importance to the world aquaculture industry, the Atlantic salmon. An adapted tagging procedure was developed to facilitate an investigation into the ability of the sensor to monitor Atlantic salmon responses to handling and changing light conditions
AEFishBIT data showed a stabilization of swimming activity 8 h after handling and different steady states were recorded for the activity/respiratory ratio after changes in light intensity that reflected a different time course adaptation to new light conditions. These results fitted well with the analysis of video recording data, as well as with the general patterns of swimming activity previously established with commercially available tags. The AEFishBIT can be used for the simultaneous and easy monitoring of physical activity and respiratory frequency from post-smolt life stage in Atlantic salmon. The use of AEFishBIT becomes especially valuable for precise and rapid studies, pointing out individual differences in adaptation to handling/changing production conditions in post-smolt salmon. Further optimization of tagging protocols and prolonged use of tags with increased battery capacity, as well as future improvements in device miniaturization, will alleviate some of the main side effects of tagging and increase the usability of AEFishBIT under research and commercial conditions. Overall, the findings of this study support the use of AEFishBIT to generate new behaviour insights in Atlantic salmon culture and support it as a tool for smart sensing in this species. Read the publication in full HERE.