Fishtech and Aquabotics Project

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Case for change

New methods and technologies are emerging for real-time distant operations in aquaculture. Medium and large sized enterprises are already adopting un-crewed vessels and vehicles to evolve their operations.

With these changes, roles are evolving too. Technology is now being used for work previously completed manually, including diving operations, on-deck vessel work, harvesting, hatchery and sample collections. The workforce requires skills to use new equipment, to understand and communicate data, and to operate remotely on and under the water.

These developments in technology will affect most current roles and may result in the emergence of new roles; particularly in autonomous, un-crewed and remote vessel/vehicle operations, scientific testing and compliance. Nationally recognised training is needed to address these changing work environments and roles, to ensure digital skills are accessible where they are needed and recognised within the broader industry.

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project out of the Aquaculture and Wild Catch Industry Sector IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work 2019-2022 (see pages 48-55).

Skills Impact and the Aquaculture and Wild Catch Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see pages 48-55)

Project Plan

Underwater robotic technology is making a splash in Australia’s aquaculture industry. Large companies like Tassal and Huon Aquaculture are using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), drones and biosensors to perform tasks that were previously done manually. Fish are being fed by the push of a button from a control centre in Tasmania. Workers are monitoring the health and behavior of fish and their environments in real time via ultra-HD screens and biosensors. ROVs are being used to inspect, repair and clean nets and to carry out environmental compliance monitoring.

These are important advancements, making for more efficient monitoring, improved welfare practices and more thorough biosecurity measures. When paired with decreasing costs of equipment, the uptake of these new technologies across industry is becoming more likely. This means workers will need further expertise in operating new equipment, understanding scientific information and managing compliance.  While training until now has occurred on the job, industry is keen for nationally recognised training that can support and recognise these skills across the board.

“Innovation and technological advances are changing approaches to how work tasks are being performed. This in turn is driving the industry to introduce new technology… requiring employees to be adept in utilising the tools and computer programs to drive hardware. The industry therefore needs to prepare for the future and a focus now needs to be on the development of a workforce who is strong in digital literacy…” Natalie Cheequee, Organisational Manager, Huon Aquaculture

Employers are keen to promote digital skills not just for the use of current technology, but to prepare their workforce for the future. Skills in servicing equipment, understanding and communicating data and general digital literacy will provide the Australian aquaculture industry with what it needs to flourish.

Project Scope

The purpose of this project is to review relevant units of competency to ensure they are also appropriate for use in real-time distant operations. There is scope to develop new units where these skills cannot be covered by what is available. The project does not plan to  review any qualifications, though it may result in the development of skill sets. There is also opportunity to identify and import units and skills sets from the MAR Maritime Training Package where appropriate.

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Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Aquaculture & Wild Catch’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Relevant Occupations
  • Aquaculture Production Hand Assistant
  • Aquaculture Leading Hand
  • Aquaculture Production Hand
  • Aquaculture Business Support Worker
  • Aquaculture Maintenance Worker
  • Aquaculture Supervisor
  • Aquaculture Operations Manager
  • Fisher Hand
  • Deck Hand
  • Senior Deck Hand
  • Farm Hand
  • Hatchery Attendant
  • Diver
  • Environmental Management Specialist
  • Fisheries Compliance Support Worker
  • Fisheries Compliance Officer
  • Senior Fisheries Compliance Officer
  • Fisheries Compliance Manager

 

Timeline

August 2019
Initial scoping

September – October 2019

Development of draft skill sets and units

November 2019 – February 2020
Drafts available for broad consultation

February – March 2020
Validation of final drafts

February 2020
Finalisation of Training Package components

April – May 2020
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

 

Project Team
Susie FalkIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impact sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au
Michelle Ingley-SmithIndustry Engagement Manager, Skills Impact michelle@skillsimpact.com.au
Anna HendersonIndustry Skills Standards Contractor

 

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project to help review and draft the revised units and skill sets.

If you are interested in applying to be a subject matter expert and are able to volunteer your time to this project, please email details of your expertise to sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback on first drafts will occur in November 2019, and for the validation of final drafts in January 2020. The skill sets and units need to reflect real work experience in order to ensure training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. As such, your feedback is welcome at any time, to assist in the development of appropriate draft documents.

If you work in the sector, Skills Impact would appreciate your input. Register your interest to receive project updates and information about consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Susie Falk on 03 9321 3526 or sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project based on their industry role, size or specialty. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations to seek their involvement and views on all draft skill sets and units. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list, they have simply been identified as the most, likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Development

Remotely operated vehicles, drones (in air and water) and biosensors are now being used by some of Australia’s larger aquaculture operators. This is an important development that offers improved monitoring, welfare practices and biosecurity measures. Many roles have already been affected by this technology, as some previously manual tasks are now being done from a control room, sometimes even in a different state.

A workshop was held in early September with Subject Matter Experts and industry stakeholders, where it was recognised that the uptake of these new technologies across industry is becoming more likely. The need for skills in the use of technology in fisheries and aquaculture was identified, as well as skills in the following areas:

  • digital literacy to read, process, analyse and communicate data;
  • use of technology, as the workplace becomes more automated; and
  • the impact of the use of technology on the environment, with a particular focus on biosecurity.

Consultation with industry experts suggests there is a need for several new units of competency and three or four new skill sets to support the increasing use of technology in the seafood industry.

The draft units of competency and skill sets will be made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder consultation and feedback during the month of November (under the ‘Drafts Available’ menu above). We welcome your feedback and advice on the draft skills standards. Face-to-face consultation workshops will also take place, with a webinar planned for those unable to attend in person. Registrations for these workshops will open soon.

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Aquaculture & Wild Catch’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

 

Drafts Available

New technology is having a significant impact on job roles in aquaculture and wild catch. Many tasks that were previously performed manually can now be done using aquabotics, such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), underwater drones and biosensors. This is an important development, offering improved monitoring, welfare practices and biosecurity measures. Industry is driving this project to define the skills required to work with these new technologies.

Ten proposed new units of competency and three new skill sets have been drafted, and several existing units of competency reviewed. The draft units of competency and skill sets encompass skills in digital literacy, automation and environmental sustainability.

Thank you to those who provided feedback on the draft units of competency and skill sets that were made available on this webpage for feedback from 20 December 2019 – 9 March 2020. 

Feedback was sought on whether the draft skill sets and units reflect the skills standards and practices of industry, and whether job functions are accurately described. With new aquabotic technology at the heart of this project, industry was encouraged to consider both current skills and those required in the near future.

During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, six face-to-face consultation workshops, a webinar, and email. The drafts, including any comments made on the feedback hub, are still available for viewing below.

Feedback will inform the work on the final drafts which are expected to be available for industry validation in late March 2020. A summary of the feedback and how it was addressed in the final drafts will also be available.

New Units & Skill Sets

Advice is sought about whether each of these skill sets is required. Your input is also appreciated regarding the New and Emerging Technology Fisheries and Aquaculture Skill Set, and whether this should use the term ‘Aquatic’ instead of ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture’.

SFISSXXXX1 Fisheries and Aquaculture Induction Technology Skill SetView draft skill set
SFISSXXXX2 New and Emerging Technology Fisheries and Aquaculture Skill SetView draft skill set
SFIXXXX3 Aquabotic Technology Skill SetView draft skill set

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Unit code and nameDescription/QuestionsLink
SFIAQU2X1 Prepare to use technology in fisheries or aquacultureThis unit applies to individuals who are introduced to the use of technology in fisheries or aquaculture. Proposed for packaging as an elective at Certificate II level.

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Is this unit needed?
  • Could it be used as a pathway for vocational training in school?
  • Should the unit application, performance criteria and performance evidence specify types of technology or should it be generic? If you feel it should be more specific, what technology should be specified?
  • Should the Assessment conditions specify access to particular types of equipment?
View draft unit
SFIAQU3X2 Use technology in fisheries or aquacultureThe unit applies to individuals who use fisheries or aquaculture technology under supervision. It includes using, concluding activity and providing feedback. Proposed for packaging as an elective at Certificate III level.

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Should the unit refer to ‘aquatic’ instead of ‘fisheries or aquaculture’?
  • Should the knowledge evidence refer to the operational processes of: fish farms, hatcheries, transport of stock and equipment, service of equipment, feed technology, environmental compliance, high energy sites, real time platforms, probe maintenance? Is it too much at this level?
  • Should the knowledge evidence refer to the general features and capabilities of: biological filtration, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), automation, water management systems? Is it too much at this level?
  • With reference to new technology, should knowledge evidence be an overview of IoT and 5G? anything else?
View draft unit
SFIAQU3X3 Conduct remote stock feedingProposed for packaging as an elective at Certificate III level.

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Is this unit needed, given that there is already an existing unit SFIAQU206 Feed Stock that has been amended to relate to remote feeding activity? Please note that the existing unit would require further amendments so as to fully relate to remote feeding.
View draft unit
SFIAQU3X4 Interpret fisheries or aquaculture computer dataProposed for packaging as an elective at Certificate III level.

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Should the unit refer to ‘aquatic’ instead of ‘fisheries or aquaculture’?
  • Should references to ‘computer data’ be more specific?
View draft unit
SFIAQU4X1 Operate aquabotic technologyProposed for packaging as an electives at Certificate IV level.

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Should the unit application, performance criteria and performance evidence specify types of aquabotic technology, i.e.: autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remote operated vehicles (ROVs) or should it be more generic? Should other technology be mentioned?
  • Should the performance evidence specify features of aquabotic technology such as: video cameras, lights, sonar systems? Anything else?
  • Should the knowledge evidence include knowledge of underwater survey missions, environmental and compliance monitoring, marine growth survey, stock location, observational studies, zooplankton patches inspection, scour and debris survey, seabed survey, offshore structure cleaning, vessel hull inspections, net inspection and repair, and/or net cleaning?
  • Should the knowledge evidence include knowledge of the general features and capabilities of aquabotic technology, including: video cameras; lights; sonar systems; articulating robotic arms; high-torque motors; live remote control and data sharing; configurable sensor suite to measure depth, temperature, orientation and GPS; battery life and/or lighting?
View draft unit
SFIAQU4X2 Maintain aquabotic technologyView draft unit
SFIAQU4X3 Apply the use of new or emerging technology in fisheries or aquacultureProposed for packaging as an elective at Certificate IV level.

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Should the knowledge evidence refer to the general features and capabilities of: biological filtration, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), automation, water management systems?
  • With reference to new technology, should knowledge evidence be an overview of IoT and 5G? Anything else?
View draft unit
SFIAQU4X4 Operate remotely operated vehicleThis is an additional new unit.View draft unit
SFIAQU5X1 Plan the use of new or emerging technology in fisheries or aquacultureThis unit applies to individuals who plan the use of new or emerging technology to fisheries and aquaculture processes. It includes planning for the use of upgraded equipment. Proposed for packaging as an elective at Diploma level

Feedback is appreciated on some specific areas: 

  • Should the unit refer to ‘aquatic’ instead of ‘fisheries or aquaculture’?
  • Should this unit be targeted at coordinators or farm attendants using the equipment?
  • Should the knowledge evidence refer to the general features and capabilities of: biological filtration, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), automation, water management systems?
  • With reference to new technology, should knowledge evidence be an overview of IoT and 5G? Anything else?
View draft unit
SFIEMS5X2 Plan an aquaculture environmental auditThese units of competency describe the skills and knowledge required to contribute to the development and implementation of aquaculture plans and strategies by planning and condusting an aquaculture environmental audit that incorporates ecological issues, waste management and the management of marine stock.

The units apply to individuals who have specialised aquaculture environmental knowledge and follow assigned instructions, liaise with clients and effectively identify and assess aquacultural practices and how they impact on the aquaculture environment.

Advice is requested about whether these units are necesarry, as feedback to this point has been conflicting. Please provide reasoning to support your comments.

View draft unit
SFIEMS5X3 Conduct an aquaculture environmental auditView draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Revised Units

These units were reviewed in full in 2018. Only minor changes have been made in order to address references to automation, technology, environment and biosecurity. Track changes have been left visible to highlight the changes.

More information on last year’s review of the units is availble on the project pages for the following three projects:

Acronym references:

PC: Performance Criteria / KE: Knowledge Evidence / PE: Performance Evidence / AC: Assessment Conditions

UnitChanges Link
SFIAQU203 Manipulate stock culture environmentPC 2.1: added reference to work health and safety (WHS), food safety, biosecurity and environmental regulations.

PE: added reference to WHS, food safety, biosecurity and environmental regulations.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU206 Feed StockApplication: added reference to operating automated feeding technology.

PCs 1.2, 1.3 and 2.2: amended to incorporate the use of automated feeding technology.

PE, KE and AC: amended to incorporate the use of automated feeding technology.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU208 Produce algal or live-feed culturesKE added a point referring to: ‘conditions that support algal or live-feed cultures’.View draft unit 
SFIAQU210 Harvest cultured or held stockPC 2.4: expanded to include reference to ‘automated and manual’ equipment.

PE : addedreference to ‘automated and manual’ equipment.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU211 Maintain stock culture, holding and other farm structuresPC 2.2: added reference to use of ‘appropriate technology’.

PE: added reference to use of ‘appropriate technology’.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU212 Operate and maintain a recirculating aquaculture systemAdded an additional PC (3.5) that relates to meeting environmental and biosecurity regulatory requirements.

Current PC 3.5 became 3.6

Current PC 3.6 became 3.7.

KE: added reference to environmental and regulatory requirements.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU301 Undertake effluent treatment and waste disposalPCs 1.2 and 3.1: added reference to technology.

PE: added reference to technology.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU303 Monitor stock handing activitiesAdded an additional PC (PC 1.3) that relates to the identification of resource requirements including technology and equipment.

The existing PC 1.3 became PC 1.4.

KE: added reference to technology.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU304 Maintain water quality and environmental monitoringApplication: added reference to ‘use of technology’.

PC 1.3: added reference to equipment and technology.

PE: expandeddot point to include preparing, using and maintaining monitoring equipment and associated technology.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU305 Monitor harvest and post-harvest activitiesAdded an additional PC (2.1) that relates to identifying ‘appropriate technology’.

Current PC 2.1 became PC 2.2.

Current PC 2.2 became PC 2.3.

KE: added reference to ‘technology and equipment requirements‘.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU307 Monitor the operations of a recirculating aquaculture systemPC 1.2: added reference to ‘technology’.

PE: added reference to technology.

View draft unit 
SFIAQU308 Support hatchery operationsPC 3.6: added reference to ‘changing conditions’.

PE: added a point on ‘identifying changing conditions and taking appropriate action’

View draft unit 
SFIAQU311 Apply control measures for diseasesPC 1.3: added reference to ‘environmental conditions’.

KE: added a point referring to ‘conditions that may cause the outbreak of diseases’.

View draft unit
SFIAQU312 Monitor feed activitiesPC 1.4: added reference toautomated feeding’.

PE: added reference toautomated feeding’ and added a point to denote the use of PPE if conducting manual feeding.

AC: addedtechnology’ to equipment and materials and removed and qualified the use of PPE only if feed monitoring is conducted manually.

View draft unit
SFIAQU401 Develop and implement a stock health programPC 2.5: added reference to ‘the use of new and emerging technology’.

Added an Additional (PC 2.6) related to making recommendations to senior personnel based on research and/or consultation.

PE: expanded on the first dot point, adding ‘reporting to management’.

View draft unit
SFIXS1402 Act to prevent interaction with protected speciesPC 1.3: added reference to ‘biosecurity regulatory issues’

KE: added reference tobiosecurity regulatory issues’.

View draft unit
SFIAQU403 Manage water quality and environmental monitoring in enclosed systemsPC 1.2: added ‘using relevant technology’.

KE: added ‘technology used in environmental monitoring enclosed systems’.

View draft unit
SFIAQU408 Supervise harvest and post-harvest activitiesPC 2.1: added reference to ‘technology’

KE: added ‘Technology and equipment used in harvest and post-harvest activities’ and

‘Biosecurity’ added to the point on legislative and regulatory requirements (biosecurity is referenced in PC 3.3)’

View draft unit
SFIAQU409 Implement, monitor and review stock productionKE: added points on ‘research’ which is referenced in PC 2.3 Also added in KE

‘Biosecurity regulations’

View draft unit
SFIAQU410 Implement a program to operate, maintain or upgrade a recirculating aquaculture systemAdded an additional PC (3.6)

‘Ensure that all works undertaken comply with biosecurity regulatory requirements’.

Current PC 3.6 became PC 3.7.

PE: expanded dot point 2 to include reference to biosecurity and regulatory requirements.

View draft unit
SFIAQU505 Plan stock health managementPC 2.5: addedSubmit research findings and final stock health management and monitoring plan recommendations’.

PE: added another dot point: ‘Preparing a report on final recommendations to implementing a stock health management and monitoring plan to achieve optimum stock health’.

View draft unit
SFIAQU507 Plan and design water supply and disposal systemsAdded an additional PC (PC 1.10): ‘Determine design that will enable the diagnosis of changes in environmental conditions’.

KE: added an additional point that references diagnostic methods to check changes in environmental conditions.

View draft unit
SFIAQU508 Plan and design stock culture or holding systems and structuresKE: added mechanisation or automation research’ (already referenced in PC 1.4)View draft unit
SFIAQU509 Develop stock production planPC 2.1: added ‘biosecurity regulations’ reference.

KE: added two points:

1. ‘Biosecurity regulations and

2. mechanisation or automation research’ (already referenced in PC 1.4).

View draft unit
SFIAQU510 Design a recirculating aquaculture systemPC 1.3: added reference to ’new and emerging technology’

PE: Expanded on the first dot point to include reference to ‘research into new and emerging technologies’.

View draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Unit code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
SFICPL411 Implement fisheries complianceKE: added a point on: ‘principles of environmental sustainability’ (already referenced in PC 2.1)View draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by [icon icon=”icon-file-word” size=”14px”] clicking here.

Unit code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
SFIEMS401 Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practicesKE: added a point on: ‘principles of environmental sustainability’ (already referenced in PC 2.1)View draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Unit code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
SFIOBS303 Collect routine fishery management dataPC 2.1:  amended to incorporate electronic data entry.  

PC 2.2: deleted because it refers solely to entering data on record sheets.

PC 2.4: amended to broaden data collection to electronic entry.

Foundation Skills: added ICT reference, e.g.: ‘completes data entries’ rather than ‘sheets’.

PE: added ICT reference.

AC: added ICT reference.

View draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Unit code and nameProposed changes or rationale Link
SFIXS1402 Act to prevent interaction with protected speciesPC 1.3: added reference to ‘biosecurity regulatory issues’

KE: added reference tobiosecurity regulatory issues’.

View draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

These units were reviewed in full last year. No changes have been recommended at this stage, in order to address references to; automation, technology, environment and biosecurity. However, your input is still encouraged.

Unit code and name Link
SFIOBS301 Monitor and record fishing operationsView draft unit
SFIOBS302 Collect reliable scientific data and samplesView draft unit
SFIFSH203 Use trawls to land catchView draft unit
SFIFSH204 Use pots and traps to land catchView draft unit
SFIFSH205 Apply deckhand skills aboard a fishing vesselView draft unit
SFIFSH206 Use hand operated lines to land catchView draft unit
SFIFSH207 Use beach seines, mesh nets or gill nets to land catchView draft unit
SFIFSH301 Operate vessel deck machinery and lifting applianceView draft unit
SFIFSH304 Adjust and position fishing gearView draft unit
SFIFSH305 Locate fishing grounds and stocks of fishView draft unit
SFICPL303 Board vessel at seaView draft unit
SFICPL401 Conduct an investigative auditView draft unit
SFIAQU204 Undertake routine maintenance of water supply and disposal systems and structuresView draft unit
SFIAQU207 Monitor stock and environmental conditionsView draft unit
SFIAQU209 Carry out on-farm post-harvest operationsView draft unit
SFIAQU309 Carry out emergency proceduresView draft unit
SFIAQU310 Apply control measures for predators and pestsView draft unit
SFIAQU405 Develop emergency procedures for an aquaculture enterpriseView draft unit
SFIAQU407 Coordinate sustainable aquacultural practicesView draft unit
SFIAQU502 Develop and implement an aquaculture breeding strategyView draft unit
SFIAQU504 Plan and implement environmentally sustainable aquacultural practicesView draft unit
SFIVOP202 Contribute to safe navigationView draft unit
SFIVOP203 Operate a small vesselView draft unit
SFIVOP204 Operate and maintain outboard motorsView draft unit
SFIVOP205 Prepare for vessel maintenanceView draft unit
SFIXSI202 Maintain the temperature of seafoodView draft unit
SFIDIV306 Perform underwater work in the aquaculture sectorView draft unit
SFIDIV307 Perform underwater work in the wild catch sectorView draft unit

Want to download copies of the drafts? They can be downloaded in Microsoft Word format by clicking here.

Summary of consultation to date

Consultation began in Tasmania where industry and training experts discussed how technology is currently being used in the seafood industry and how they predict technology to be used in the near future. Subject Matter Experts brainstormed current and future job roles, tasks and associated skills gaps, and confirmed that while minor changes to some existing units of competency will strengthen them with respect to the use of technology, there is also a need for technology specific units to be developed. Site visits were undertaken to observe job roles in the workplace and as a result, 10 units of competency and three skill sets, with a direct focus on technology, mechanisation and environment have been drafted.

Thank you to those who have provided feedback to date, a special thank you to those who welcomed Skills Impact into their workplaces in order for us to better understand the needs of the seafood industry.

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Aquaculture & Wild Catch’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

Validation

This stage has not yet commenced

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced