A multidisciplinary team made up of experts from the University of Huelva, the University of Miguel Hernández and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) has developed an innovative integrated system for monitoring fishing activity, based on the use of sensors, usually installed in a smartphone, real-time and according to the movement of the vessel, what kind of fishing activity is carried out on board. This information is relevant in the fisheries sector to estimate the amount of fish in a given sea area and to calculate catches.
What is new about this low-cost app is that it is easy to install on any mobile device and transmits data quickly in real time, in less than a second. Furthermore, as noted in the study published in the journal, “Is the Ship Fishing? Discrimination of fishing activities using low-cost smart mobile devices through traditional and heuristic approaches” reported Expert systems with applicationsallows this tool to determine with great accuracy where the ship is located, regardless of its size, and how much time it spends fishing.
Named FAMIS, this mobile app provides instant information about the working phase of a ship. In this context, the time spent by a vessel fishing is a crucial factor in assessing fishing effort, ie calculating the amount of catch in a given area and the amount of fish present in that location at that precise moment can.
Current fishing vessel monitoring systems indicate the location of boats over an extended period of time (approximately at least every three minutes), require prior installation on the vessel’s deck and are controlled by the relevant fisheries authorities.
These are GPS-like tracking systems that broadcast a signal to land. “This tool allows us to know the position of a boat, but during its stay at sea we don’t know how much time it spent casting the nets, fishing and collecting all the material. The FAMIS app goes even further and makes it possible to see from the movement of the vessel what fishing maneuver it is performing at any given time,” said Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Estrada, researcher at the University of Huelva and one of the authors of this study, Fundación Descubre.
Experts specializing in computer science, biology and marine sciences have applied this system because both smartphones and tablets carry integrated sensors that allow the movement of the ship to be identified from the data recorded. “Depending on the type of maneuver (whether the boat is accelerating, pitching, rolling, etc.), the ship will have a characteristic movement that is reflected in the accelerometer. They also allow us to know if the ship is casting its net, fishing or retrieving its gear,” says Gutiérrez Estrada.
Artificial intelligence on board
This system, which sends information as soon as the mobile phone is placed on the boat’s deck, has been tested using various statistical methods and artificial intelligence models based on artificial neural networks and support vector machines. The app displays numerically and graphically on its screen all the information collected by the different sensors: GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetic field. The most efficient model will be integrated into the app, providing real-time information about the activity that the boat is performing.
To demonstrate the usefulness of these sensors, tests were conducted on one of his voyages from the oceanographic ship Miguel Oliver. This ship, 70 meters long and 12 meters wide, is equipped with technological equipment for navigation, fishing and oceanographic research. “This boat makes it possible to record four to six net hauls per day and obtain data in very adverse conditions, given its large displacement and the lightweight characteristics of the fishing gear used for sampling,” says the co-author of this study.
According to experts, the model can be used for any type of ship because it can be calibrated and adapted for use on small boats. “The main advantage of this app for the fishing industry is its ability to count fishing effort, a fundamental parameter for estimating the relative abundance of fish in the sea,” says Gutiérrez Estrada.
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MM Galotto-Tébar et al., Is the ship fishing? Discrimination of fishing activity using low-cost smart mobile devices through traditional and heuristic approaches, Expert systems with applications (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.eswa.2022.117091
Provided by the Fundación Descubre
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