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Remote-controlled Salmon Farms to Operate Off Norway in 2020

Giant, instrumented pens will monitor the health of millions of fish and feed them automatically

4 min read
Illustration of remote control fish farm
Illustration: Norway Royal Salmon

Tucked within Norway’s fjord-riddled coast, nearly 3,500 fish pens corral upwards of 400 million salmon and trout. Not only does the country raise and ship more salmonoid overseas than any other in the world (1.1 million tons in 2018), farmed salmon is Norway’s third largest export behind crude petroleum and natural gas. In a global industry expected to quintuple by 2050, farmed salmon is a fine kettle of fish.

But raising salmon is not without its challenges. Feeding them makes up half of all operational costs. Parasitic crustaceans called sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) make easy meals of captive fish, attaching to their bodies by suction and grazing on skin, blood and mucus. If they don’t kill the fish, some delousing methods, such as flushing fish with water, might. About 15 percent of farmed salmon die in traditional fish pens and sea lice cost the salmon industry several billion dollars annually, according to Norway Royal Salmon.

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We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

VCG/Getty Images
Green

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

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