VAKI Expands Riverwatcher Features

VAKI continues to innovate its Riverwatcher product with a revolutionary
PIT tag feature from Biomark and improved camera functionality. The
Riverwatcher counts and measures fish through scanning technology, has
new features that are a gamechanger for customers. „With this device, we
try to get all the fish in a river counted to see where they are,“ said
Magnus Thor Asgeirsson, sales manager.„In some rivers, the fish are
moving up and down and it would be beneficial to know more about those
individuals. Some VAKI customers have recently started to employ this
PIT tag technique. „They tag the fish, injecting them with a small device
and from this device, they will be able to identify the same fish if their
signal is detected,“ said Magnus.
There are two ways to utilize the information gathered from the PIT tag
technology. „We can learn something about fish behavior,“ said Magnus.
„Fish go back and forth in this area and now, with the PIT tag technology,
we know when it‘s the same fish. If a fish passes through and comes by
later, we can check the measurements of the fish.“ The results from
customers have been impressive. „We installed the system in a river in
Sweden and we detected and identified a brown trout that was measured
at 77cm,“ he said. „Later that same year we detected a trout that was
89cm at the same location, (in the same river later that year). Thanks to
the PIT tag technology, we know it was the same fish. He grew 12cm in 51
days. We learned that the growth potential of trout in this area is
The PIT tag feature has been a gamechanger in the industry, for scientists
studying fish in these rivers. „They are able to identify the individual and
get the exact measurment of that fish,“ said Magnús. „We can see the
conditions of the fish and its growth which is really interesting.“
VAKI has a long history with PIT tag technology. „It‘s interesting in light of
where we are now,“ said Magnus. „Long before joining the Merck family,
we were working on this with Biomark. Now that we are under one
umbrella, the PIT tag feature became a reality.“ Indeed, some years ago,
VAKI was working with Biomark to make a special antenna for the
Riverwatcher. „They have antennas designed to pick up tags from fish in a
broad range. In our case, we wanted them to shield the antenna to only
pick up the fish that swim through our device. It would then get counted
and measured by our device. This idea was carried on and worked on by
our engineers and Biomark engineers and we created this unit—PIT tag

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