Cape Cod’s Aquacultural Research Corporation (A.R.C.) Hatchery, along with its subsidiary, Chapin Sea Farms, “plays a vital role in local and regional shellfish communities by providing the highest quality shellfish – from spawn to table – to growers, distributors, chefs, and reef-builders across the country.” The loss of a long-term staff member responsible for checking water temperatures and ensuring that tanks weren’t draining during the overnight hours, prompted A.R.C.’s hatchery manager, who was already looking to modernize tasks associated with the operation, to seek an alternative that would ultimately alleviate the need for 24/7 staffing. With the potential for the facility to lose as much as $500K worth of product should an undetected devastating night-time event occur, and given the effect that such a loss could, in turn, have on A.R.C.’s customers (including restaurants, as well as fishermen who buy shellfish seed to grow to market-size animals), it was extremely important to find a remote monitoring system that was both reliable and comprehensive.


A.R.C.’s hatchery manager selected Onset’s HOBOnet remote monitoring system. Comprised of up to 50 wireless sensors and a main station that sends data to the cloud, where it can be accessed from anywhere, at any time via HOBOlink software, the system also sends automatic text/email alerts to specified individuals should conditions exceed user-set thresholds.

The HOBOnet system was installed, with multiple wireless sensors deployed in all areas throughout the facility, including the algae room (housing the food source for the shellfish), the algae “lab” (the algae stock room), the larval room, and the broodstock area, as well as the areas where market-size clams and oysters are housed.


Rather than being entirely dependent on its employees to manually record temperatures and confirm water levels are appropriate, A.R.C. is now able to use the HOBOnet monitoring system to track critical temperatures and water levels, 24/7, throughout its operation. And, with animals at different growing stages being monitored in distinct areas, HOBOnet enables A.R.C. to customize alerts per sensor to accommodate the varying critical temperature thresholds. For example, in the broodstock room, where there’s a very small window of acceptable temperatures for the development of healthy gametes, the staff can rest easy knowing that HOBOlink will send an alert notification if the temperature goes out of range, so they can act quickly. And at night, when water levels in the tanks are expected to remain stable, the staff can count on HOBOlink to send an alert if a tank is draining, so the problem can be fixed immediately. A.R.C. is also using the system to measure both air temperature and relative humidity in the refrigerated trailer where hibernating oysters are stored during the winter months. 

Recently, a staff member received an alert that was triggered when a fisherman left a cooler door open during a night-time delivery – and so, fortunately, while this didn’t cause a problem, it was reassuring to be able to determine what had caused the brief change in temperature.   

Subject to unannounced visits from a state agency looking to ensure compliance with food safety protocols, A.R.C. can now easily share data files from its HOBOnet monitoring system to demonstrate the quality of its market-size animals earmarked for restaurant consumption. The hatchery manager is also looking forward to using the collected data for research projects.  

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