Scientific Fishery Systems, Inc
SciFish’s mission is to develop technologies and products for more efficient fisheries. Specifically, SciFish’s mission is to develop a product line of integrated sensor and information processing products that will meet the demands of the ever-changing global fishing communities. New products, such as Fisherman’s Associate, offer immense opportunity as they lead the way to market. Products will be introduced in the familiar, but extremely diverse, fisheries of the North Pacific, then expanded to U.S. and ultimately international sales over several years.
SciFish was founded in 1992 by Patrick K. Simpson. Mr. Simpson created SciFish to transfer defense technologies to the fisheries. SciFish was incorporated in Alaska in April 1993 as a Class C entity.
In November 1993, Mr. Simpson filed a patent describing the methodology and several applications of active broadband acoustics for identifying aquatic life. This patent was awarded December 27, 1993, Patent No. 5,377,163.
In April 1994, SciFish received its first grant, entitled "Defense Applications to the Fisheries" from the National Science Foundation under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. This grant developed the proof-of-concept for fish identification using broadband sonar and designed the engineering prototype. In January 1995, the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) awarded SciFish with a grant to build the prototype. The prototype was completed in July 1995 and has since been tested in the Lake Michigan (August 1995, July 1996, October 1996) and the Prince William Sound (October 1995, May 1996, December 1996). Data analysis confirms that broadband acoustics provide a rich set of features that, when combined with traditional narrowband sonagrams, provide over 75% correct species identification of fish. Further work being conducted now leads SciFish to believe that 90% accuracy is achievable. Phase II funding on each of these SBIR grants has recently been awarded.
In January 1995, SciFish received two additional grants to develop information system products and services for the fisheries. The first grant was for the development of a fisheries geographic information system for the fisheries. This project resulted in the design for Fisherman’s Associate. Funding for the continued development of Fisherman’s Associate has been granted by ASTF. This funding has allowed SciFish to build a beta-testable version of the software. Additional funding is now being sought to complete the move to market.
Sites and Facilities
Location. SciFish was located in San Diego, CA from inception through May 1995. In June 1995, SciFish moved to Anchorage, AK to be closer to the fishing communities the founder was most familiar.
Facilities. SciFish’s main facility is located at 6100 A St., Anchorage, AK. This location places SciFish close to the a large collection of commercial fisheries, including pollock, salmon, halibut, sablefish, and crab. The SciFish facility has 1500 square foot of office space and utilizes approximately 250 square feet of additional dry storage. A new office is located near Seattle, WA with approximately 150 square feet office space and room for expansion. This facility lies close to a significant portion of the North Pacific commercial fishing fleet, as well as access to the U.S. Navy's Bremerton Shipyard.
Equipment. SciFish currently has several PCs including one large 200 Mhz Pentium-Pro w/ 256 MB RAM and 4 GB hard disk that is used to host computationally intensive applications. Another of SciFish’s PC’s is a Pentium that hosts an A/D and DSP board that can sample data at 770 kHz, a magneto optical storage device for mass storage, and a CD-ROM drive. SciFish also has 2 broadband transceivers capable of transmitting and receiving a variety of signal types to depths up to 100 fathoms (~200 m).
Software. SciFish has a large collection of geographic information system, signal processing, software development tools that support product development, including development environments for Visual C++ and Visual Basic. SciFish has LINUX installed on a 1.2 GB disk on one of the Pentiums to provide UNIX compatibility.
Library. SciFish has a library with over 2,500 books and
journals on topics that include: software development, engineering design,
management, business development, signal processing, sonar, fuzzy systems,
neural networks, image processing, commercial fisheries, fisheries management,
remote sensing, and geographic information systems.