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Philippines university develops fry counter for small-scale hatcheries

An automated fish fry counting machine’s selling points are built on its capacity for speed, accuracy and minimizing stress on the fry. A research team in the Philippines added another practical advantage by making their model very affordable as well.

July 12, 2019  By Ruby Gonzalez

The Automatic Fry Counter counts 43 An automated fish fry counting machine’s selling points

A research team at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences of the University of the Philippines – Visayas developed the device, called Automatic Fry Counter (AFC), with small-scale milkfish fry hatcheries in mind. In the product description, they said, “The significant feature of the R&D product is the relatively lower cost which is certainly affordable and an attractive alternative to the laborious manual counting of fry.”

AFC, which costs below the market price of P20,000 (US$386), consists of a counting channel, laser as a light source, phototransistor as receptor mechanism and a small processor. It has a capacity of counting 12 milkfish fry per second or over 43,000 pieces an hour, at 95 percent accuracy.

The speed it takes to count the fry minimizes stress on them. At the same time, the speed exponentially contributes to the hatchery’s productivity.

Manual counting is about 10,000 pieces an hour. It is a tedious and time-consuming method, prone to human error and creates an environment that could put stress on the fry.

Milkfish is only next to seaweed as the top aquaculture product in the Philippines. Demand vis-à-vis local supply is so big that importation of fry is necessary.


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