Destron Fearing, a unit of Digital Angel, an advanced technology company in the field of animal identification and emergency identification solutions, has been awarded $885,000 in contracts with the Portland, OR-based Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) technology.
In its work with the BPA, Destron Fearing employs PIT technology in conjunction with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) antenna to monitor salmon movement in the dam passages in the Columbia and Snake River Basins in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Since the late 1980s, Digital Angel has worked with Portland-based BPA and the federal Columbia and Snake River hydroelectric projects to develop, manufacture and install implantable PIT systems for monitoring the native salmon population, representing a vital resource to the local community. The species’ vulnerability to pollution, weather changes and over-fishing makes BPA’s monitoring program a crucial element in their survival. Digital Angel’s technology allows the BPA to effectively monitor the local salmon populations as they migrate through a river system that encompasses an elaborate network of dams and contributories.
The money breaks down like this: one award, for $760,000, is for the initial development phase of a large antenna reader system for the Bonneville Dam, covering a nine-month period beginning July 1, 2008. The budget for this multi-phase project has a total of $2.5 million in funding, covering an estimated total 18-month period. The later phases of this project have not yet been awarded. The multiplex reader project award, for $125,000, is for reader systems for river applications.