Oyster Biosensors

Developed in 2015, Sense-T’s oyster biosensors monitor environmental and biological change. Oysters are highly sensitive to changing environmental conditions, and can act like sentinel species of environmental change. Created via a collaborative project in conjunction with the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers’ Association, IMAS at the University of Tasmania and CSIRO, the biosensors were fitted to a network of oysters in order to determine their reaction to changing environmental conditions. The Tasmanian coast, where the project is located, has abundant oyster harvesting, but oyster cultivators are worried about pollution and climate change. Given the oyster’s sensitivity to environmental changes, the project aims to link environmental parameters such as water temperature, salinity, pH and algal abundance to biological parameters of the oysters (like heartbeat and metabolism). The biosensors act in real time, giving aquaculturists increased information on environmental threats and informing adaptive management. The extent to which this technology can be replicated is as yet unclear; while these findings may be useful to aquaculturists on the Tasmanian coast, conditions are variable in other parts of the ocean. If these calibration issues can be solved, the creators hope to offer this to other oyster cultivators around the world. 

Sj, A., & Ng, E. (2015). “Aquaculture Sentinels: Smart-farming with Biosensor Equipped Stock“. 


Biodiversity, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Industry/Natural Commodities, Monitoring, Regulation