SPYVALVE

What is Spyvalve?

As filter feeders, mussels, oysters and clams play an integral role in ecosystem functioning. When stressed, bivalves close their valves (shells) to reduce exposure to unfavourable conditions. While the perturbations which lead to such stressors often go unnoticed, they can lead to the mass mortality of aquatic fauna, with the cause often unknown... until now!

Spyvalve turns bivavles into SPIES, using electronic devices to detect stressors as they occur.

Spyvalve uses bivalves to spy on aquatic environments by attaching sensors to each opposing valve. The sensors measure the amount of electromagnetic energy between the valves. When the shell is closed, the magnet is at is closest to the sensor and the amount of magnetic energy is at its greatest. In contrast, when the shell is open the magnetic energy recieved by the sensor is far less. The data are then uploaded to the network in real time. Under normal conditions, bivalves rarely close for longer than a few minutes.

When all bivalves at a location remain closed for a period of time, an alert is raised for that location.

Active Spy Locations

Image

Detecting stress

Traditionally, aquatic ecosystems have been monitored through measuring water quality parameters and the values of those parameters used to infer the effect the water has on its fauna. However, not only is it impossible to measure every water parameter, but the synergistic effects of water quality parameters are largely unknown. Biological monitoring (biomonitoring) has a huge advantage over these traditional approaches as it measures directly the response by the fauna.

Bivalves also exist in almost all aquatic environments from freshwater lakes, rivers and estuaries, coastal waters to the deep ocean and from the poles to the equator. These feature, along with their typical sessile life style, makes bivalves the best class of fauna for biomonitoring. Spyvalve uses these bivalves to spy on aquatic environments through sensors attached to each opposing valve. The sensors measure the amount of electromagnetic energy between the valves which varies depending on whether the valves are in the open or closed position. Under normal conditions, bivalves rarely close for longer than a few minutes.

When all bivalves at a location remain closed for a period of time, an alert is raised for that location.

Spyvalve´s Advanced Biological Monitoring approach has a wide range of applications.
  • detect fish kills before they occur
  • determine the effects of heat waves on coral reef communities
  • can elucidate the amount of flow required to maintain ecosystem functioning in rivers
  • can help elucidate the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on aquatic ecosystems
  • can be used to determining the suitability of habitats for shellfish reef restoration
  • to test locations for commercial aquaculture

SCALLOP AND CLAM

Coming soon

The first Spyvalve buoy will be launched in Cockburn Sound Western Australia early 2020.

BUOY MUSSEL