RFID “chip” are tiny electronic devices that communicate information to an electronic reader through the use of radio waves. The chips come in all shapes and sizes ranging from flat to pill-shaped and can be embedded in credit cards, smart phones, clothing, even pets. Underwater World in Singapore is now using this existing technology in an all new way – to tag fish so that visitors can learn more about them.
“Gone are the days when visitors are happy looking at animals and matching them with the information on the sign boards,” Chew said.
Here’s how it works: when a fish equipped with an RFID chip swims past a detector, a visitor standing in front of the tank is alerted through an interactive touchscreen display. The display then allows visitors to page through information about that particular species of fish where they can learn more about its habitat and biology.
According to Peter Chew, Underwater World’s Sales and Marketing Director, this new aquarium is the first to use RFID technology in this way.
The aquarium is reported to have cost S$30,000 and took three months to setup.
So far the following fish have been tagged:
- Arapaima (Arapaima gigas)
- Alligator Gar (Lepisosteus spatula)
- Pacu (Piaractus brachypomum)
- Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemiliopterus)
- Flower Ray (Potamotrygon sp.)
- Shovelnose Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma sp.)
- Walking Catfish (Clarias bartruchus)
Because of the huge success of this project, the aquarium is planning to tag sharks as their next RFID-enabled display.
We’d like to thank Gresham Hendee of Reef Nutrition for bringing this to our attention.