What does shrimp farming look like from space?

Zack Dinh
3 min readFeb 8, 2021


An overview of our approach to monitoring global shrimp farming activity.

Written by Zack Dinh, founder of Sea Warden Inc.

Phang Nga Province, Thailand: Satellite observations can monitor shrimp farming anywhere in the world.

A closer look at remote monitoring

Remote monitoring can address many data-related challenges within the shrimp farming industry:

  • Enable impact financiers to conduct due diligence and portfolio monitoring at scale (critical to accelerating the transition to sustainable shrimp farming practices).
  • Provide farms with operations advice and market insights that improve yields and revenue, while reducing negative impacts.
  • Support efforts to expand farmer access to certification and traceability initiatives that improve access to markets with stricter sourcing policies.
  • Boost sales for feed, input and equipment suppliers by identifying sales opportunities and by optimizing production and distribution.
  • Improve the ability of regulators to track farming permits and disease events, as well as verify production statistics.

How does remote monitoring work?

Our approach is powered by satellite observations from commercial and open-source platforms, and information submitted by farmers using mobile phones (verified by geotagged photo and video evidence). Our approach enables us to detect and monitor millions of ponds located anywhere in the world. We acquire new observations weekly and combine them with historic datasets that extend several years into the past. By using purpose-built AI to automate the analysis process, we are able to develop a deep understanding of shrimp farming practices and performance at farm, regional, and global scales.

Sóc Trăng Province, Vietnam: The number of ponds in this region can reach 200 ponds per square kilometer. Here we select four ponds totaling 1.58 ha.

Key Data Elements collected by satellite observations

Satellite-derived key data elements provide information on farming practices and performance.

Assessing farm productivity based on pond activity

Based on historic satellite observation two crops were produced and ponds were fallowed (emptied completely) for at least two-weeks between production cycles in 2020.

Chatbots and mobile messaging platforms for farm data collection

The wide adoption of mobile phones enables farmers to share additional key data elements that are verified by geotagged photo and video evidence. Using regionally popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Zalo, Viber, and LINE, are effective methods for collecting additional verification data. It also establishes a communication channel enabling farmers to receive advice on operations, market insight, and early warning of local disease events.

Verification data is requested through regionally popular mobile messaging platforms using automated chat systems, and verified by image recognition technology.

What is remote monitoring for?

Continue to our follow-up post where we explain how low-cost remote monitoring can accelerate the transition to sustainable shrimp farming practices by enabling impact investing, responsible production, and supply chain traceability.

About Sea Warden

Our mission is to advance the sustainability of farmed seafood by addressing critical data gaps within the aquaculture industry by leveraging satellites, AI, and cloud computing to map and monitor global aquaculture activity. Find out more at seawarden.io