Fully Automated Salmon Cannon is Here to Save the Planet
You are probably familiar with the Hyperloop, the concept of moving cars through a sealed pipe at high speed to get them from one place to another. Whooshh Innovations from Seattle has developed its own variant – only its model is for fish.
A few years ago, the company, whose website proudly states that “we’re revolutionizing the world of fish passage,” created the Salmon Cannon, a system of pipes through which salmon are sucked through air pressure at speeds of up to 32 feet per person. This is intended to help them overcome barriers that block flow, such as dams.
Now it’s essentially back with Salmon Cannon 2: Electric Boogaloo – or, as Whooshh calls it, the Whooshh Passage Portal. And it’s better in a number of ways, including the fact that it no longer requires hand loading.
“The Whooshh Passage Portal can be used on land or on a floating barge,” Vincent Bryan III, CEO of Whooshh Innovations, told Digital Trends. “It’s an arbitrary, selective fish passage that can handle obstacles of any height and most species of fish. Voluntary means that the fish are attracted to the entrance and actually swim into the entrance by themselves. You then swim like a false weir over our FishFaucet and into our FishL Recognition scanner system. “
As the fish pass the scanner, they are photographed 18 times in high definition in just 0.5 seconds. With the help of intelligent AI, the data from these images give the system information about the size of the fish, its type, whether it is injured or healthy, whether it is native or from hatcheries, and much more. The fish are then directed into the appropriate migrator tube for passage.
“If it’s a local salmon, for example, it can go over a dam,” explained Bryan. “If it is a hatching salmon, it can be directed to a hatchery. If it is an invasive species, it can be bypassed and returned to the water or removed from the waterway at the discretion of fisheries managers. The fish then slide through the selected migrator tube to get either over or around the obstacle within seconds. “
The system is already in use. According to Whooshh Innovations, in 2020 it supported fish migration in three countries including the US, Canada and Sweden. In total, more than 300,000 fish from 12 different species were shown. Then a bunch of them shot to safety through a damn fish cannon.
And to think that people viewed 2020 as an absolutely terrible year!