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Blue Star Foods to Enhance Soft Shell Crab Shedding Operations with Artificial Intelligence and UV Light Technology

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Blue Star Foods aims to revolutionize the soft-shell crab industry with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Ultraviolet (UV) light technology. The new system will automate the identification of molting crabs, reducing labor costs (currently 15% of revenues) and operational inefficiencies, while enhancing yield rates by 50%. This innovation is expected to boost profits by 12.5%, or approximately $9 per dozen crabs.

The pilot facility operates 24/7, and observations show a 30% higher molting rate during night shifts compared to other shifts, leading to increased errors and mortality rates. By using AI and UV light, the company aims to stabilize mortality rates and ensure accurate identification of molting crabs.

The ongoing pilot study compares traditional methods with the AI-UV system, focusing on key performance indicators like accuracy, labor hours, and mortality rates. Blue Star's approach is set to maximize crab quality and market value, ultimately increasing survival rates and profitability.

Positive
  • AI and UV technology expected to improve yield rates by 50%.
  • Projected 12.5% increase in profits, amounting to $9 per dozen crabs.
  • Significant reduction in labor costs, which currently make up 15% of revenues.
  • 24/7 operational efficiency with stable mortality rates during night shifts.
Negative
  • High initial mortality rates and inefficiencies in traditional methods.

Integration of AI and UV light technology into the soft-shell crab shedding operations is a fascinating application of advanced technologies in a traditional industry. The use of AI to automate the identification of molting crabs addresses the critical challenge of labor-intensive and error-prone manual processes. By accurately identifying molting crabs, the system not only enhances efficiency but also reduces mortality rates. The UV light's role in highlighting physiological changes further ensures the precision of the AI algorithms, marking a significant leap from traditional methods. This technological adoption could serve as a blueprint for other seafood and aquaculture operations seeking to improve efficiency through tech innovations.

Moreover, the continuous operation of AI systems eliminates the risk of human error due to fatigue, particularly during the night shifts when molting rates are higher. The streamlined process facilitated by AI and UV light can potentially be scaled to other areas of aquaculture, opening doors for broader applications and advancements in the industry.

The projected 50% improvement in yield rates and resulting 12.5% increase in profits stand out as significant financial metrics. For investors, the reduction in labor costs, currently at 15% of revenues and enhanced operational efficiency translate to tangible financial benefits. The company's focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles aligns well with current investor preferences for sustainable and ethical investments. The expected increase in survival rates and profitability underscores a strong return on investment in this technology.

However, it is essential to consider the initial capital expenditure required for implementing these advanced systems. While the long-term benefits appear promising, investors should keep an eye on the cost-benefit ratio and the company's ability to manage initial expenses without adversely affecting its balance sheet. Additionally, the ongoing pilot study's results will be important in validating these projections and providing a clearer picture of the financial implications.

Expected to Improve Yield Rates by 50% Resulting in 12.5% Increase in Profits

Miami, FL, July 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Star Foods Corp., (“Blue Star,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us”) (NASDAQ: BSFC), an integrated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) sustainable seafood company with a focus on Recirculatory Aquaculture Systems (RAS), that its looking to improve its soft-shell crab operations by introducing cutting-edge technology that combines Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Ultraviolet (UV) light technology to revolutionize the industry’s standard molting crab identification process.

The Atlantic blue crab, scientifically known as Callinectes sapidus, goes through a molting process where it sheds its old shell to form a new one. Identifying the precise moment when crabs are in the molting stage (busters) and harvesting them before they grow a new shell (soft crabs) is crucial for the soft-shell crab industry, as soft-shell crabs are high value seafood staple. The current traditional method of manual inspection for identifying molting crabs is not only time-consuming but also prone to errors, resulting in our view in high mortality rates and operational inefficiencies.

Challenges & Solution
The high labor costs in the soft-shell crab shedding industry are primarily attributed to visually & manually identifying molting crabs (busters) from non-molting ones (peelers). By implementing an AI system combined with UV light technology, the identification process can be automated, significantly reducing labor hours and costs, enhancing operational efficiency, and decreasing mortality rates.

Our pilot facility operates 24/7 with three shifts. First shift from 6 am to 2 pm, Second shift from 2 pm to 10 pm, Third shift (night shift) from 10 pm to 6 am. Observations indicate that during the night shift, crabs molt at a higher rate. Production peaks during this time, with a 30% increase in molting crabs compared to the first and second shifts. Workers during the night shift are more likely to be tired or distracted, making it more difficult for them to accurately identify busters. This increases the likelihood of errors and missed busters, which negatively impact the yield and overall efficiency, resulting in lower survival rate when comparing with the other 2 shifts. In this traditional industry method, the correlation between increase molting and mortality rate, shown an exponential growth curve. However; in AI-UV light, we predict the correlation to be a logistical growth curve. As molting rate increases, a mortality rate stabilized over time as the AI system maps its processes.

The integration of AI with UV light technology is expected to accurately and efficiently identify molting crabs, leading to reduced labor hours, operational costs, and mortality rates.

By harnessing the power of AI and UV light technology, this innovative approach aims to automate the identification process by training the system to recognize the specific physiological changes in crabs during molting. UV light will enhance the identification process by highlighting these changes, enabling AI algorithms to differentiate between busters and peelers accurately.

Operational Analysis and Expected Benefits
The implementation of AI and UV light technology is forecasted to result in a reduction in labor costs (currently 15% of Blue Star Food’s soft-shell crab revenues), increased operational efficiency, and improve the current yield rates by 50%, resulting in potential increase profits of approximately 12.5% or $9 per dozen [(*) based on our 2024 season average selling prices] of live soft-shell crabs. The AI system can operate continuously without fatigue, ensuring prompt and accurate identification of molting crabs, thereby enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Furthermore, the technology will aid in identifying the optimal removal time for soft-shell crabs post-molting, maximizing their quality and market value while increasing our average biennial 75% survival rates and operational profitability.

Pilot Study
An ongoing pilot study is conducted to gather and analyze key performance indicators in the traditional manual method versus the AI-UV system across all shifts, focusing on those KPI’s such as accuracy, labor hours, mortality rates, and its costs.

Using AI Software to create a vision system that monitors crab tanks under UV light, identifying molting crabs based on fluorescence changes. Its graphical interface simplifies the process of setting up and adjusting the vision system as needed, crucial for accurately monitoring crab molting processes.

This groundbreaking initiative represents a significant step forward in transforming the soft-shell crab shedding process, paving the way for increased operational survival rate efficiently, reduced labor costs, hence improved profitability.

About Blue Star Foods Corp. (NASDAQ: BSFC)
Blue Star Foods Corp. an integrated Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) sustainable seafood company with a focus on Recirculatory Aquaculture Systems (RAS) that processes, packages and sells high-value seafood products. The Company believes it utilizes best-in-class technology, in both resource sustainability management and traceability, and ecological packaging. The Company also owns and operates the oldest continuously operating Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) full grow-out salmon farm in North America. The company is based in Miami, Florida, and its corporate website is: https://bluestarfoods.com

Forward-Looking Statements:
The foregoing material may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended. Forward-looking statements include all statements that do not relate solely to historical or current facts, including without limitation statements regarding the Company’s product development and business prospects, and can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “project,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “should,” “continue” or the negative versions of those words or other comparable words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future actions or performance. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company and its current plans or expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect current plans. Risks concerning the Company’s business are described in detail in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023, and other periodic and current reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor Contacts: investors@bluestarfoods.com


FAQ

How will AI and UV technology impact Blue Star Foods' yield rates?

The new AI and UV technology is expected to improve yield rates by 50%.

What financial benefits does Blue Star Foods anticipate from the new technology?

Blue Star Foods expects a 12.5% increase in profits, amounting to approximately $9 per dozen crabs.

How does the new technology affect labor costs for Blue Star Foods?

The new AI and UV technology is projected to significantly reduce labor costs, which currently account for 15% of revenues.

What operational efficiencies are expected with the AI-UV system for BSFC?

The AI-UV system is expected to operate continuously without fatigue, leading to higher operational efficiency and reduced mortality rates.

What are the expected benefits during night shifts for Blue Star Foods?

The AI-UV system aims to stabilize mortality rates and ensure accurate identification of molting crabs, especially during night shifts, which have a 30% higher molting rate.

Blue Star Foods Corp.

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