Research and Development
Scientific Fishery Systems, Inc
Fisheries worldwide are undergoing a paradigm
shift. New issues are taking the forefront, such as sustainable yields,
bycatch reduction, and individual transferable quotas. Today, the fisheries
are looking for tools that provide them with more information to make the
best decisions possible. SciFish is developing some of the tools
to meet this growing demand in areas such as geographic
information systems, remote sensing, machine
vision, and sonar.
Below is a summary of the current project areas that Scientific Fishery
Systems is involved. A presentation
at the Fourth North Pacific Rim Fisheries Conference (Tokyo, Japan, April
23, 1997), with the accompanying text,
provides a framework to accompany this corporate vision.
Remote Sensing and
Geographic Information Systems
FishTrek 98/Pro. SciFish has developed, and is now
selling, a software product that allows a fisherman to store all of her
catch data in the computer with other environmental data and then build
comprehensive fishing maps that show which areas had a high incidence of
bycatch and those that did not. Additional reporting functions are
also able to assist in the accurate reporting of the data to the proper
agencies. This software product, entitled Fisherman’s Associate,
has been available since March 1997. We now have 200 copies of this
software in the fleet. Funding was provided by the National Science
Foundation (11, 12)
and the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation (13).
Download Presentation "FishTrek: Putting
GIS into the Hands of the Fishing Fleet", Fisheries GIS Symposium, March
1999, Seattle, WA.
Remotely-Sensed Data Products for the Fisheries. SciFish
has recently been awarded a five year contract to develop data products
from NASA's current and future sensors. In addition, SciFish is a
member of a small federation of scientists and product developers that
are helping NASA define how its data will be distributed to the scientific
and commercial communities in the future. SciFish is the only member
of this federation representing the fisheries. Funding provided by
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (15).
View the Abstract
on Remotely-Sensed Data Products For the Fisheries: A review and synthesis
of over 10 different data sources and their potential use in the fisheries,
Fisheries GIS Symposium, March 1999, Seattle, WA.
on Data Products for the Bering Sea Fisheries, Presented at Fisheries GIS
Symposium, March 1999, Seattle WA.
Report, Fisheries Applications of Satellite Imagery (Word 97 Format)
Fuzzy Data Mining. Scientific Fishery Systems, Inc.
(SciFish) proposed the development of a fuzzy data mining methodology that
utilizes fuzzy set theory in two key steps of the data mining process.
First, fuzzy membership functions are used to represent each data attribute.
This allow the data mining practitioner to properly represent each parameter,
defining the ranges for low, medium, high, and so on. Second, fuzzy
set operations are used during the data mining process, providing different
fuzzy correlations that can then be examined to reveal strong trends that
traditional correlation techniques might have missed. No funding
has been received for this project area yet.
Machine Vision Systems
Broadband Sonar Fish Identification. SciFish has a
patented approach to identifying the species of a fish by processing its
sonar return. Tests conducted with NOAA in the Bering Sea, USGS in
the Great Lakes, and with commercial fishermen in the Prince William Sound
have demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. A second prototype
is being tested this summer. Funding provided by the National Science
Foundation (1, 2),
the Department of Commerce (3, 4),
the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation (5),
and the USGS Biological Resources Division (14).
Summary of Early Results, Presentation
IAGLR Abstract and Presentation,
Broadband Fish Identification, Acoustical Society of America, Paper
and Presentation, June 1998
Advantages of Broadband Sonar, Riverine Sonar Workshop, Abstract
and Presentation, February 1999
Defense Conversion to the Fisheries, NSF Phase II SBIR Final Report, Download
Report (Word 97 Format)
Long-Range Fish School Detection. SciFish has developed
a towed-array sonar system that is capable of detecting 10 ton tuna schools
up to 15 miles from a fishing vessel. Extending this system to include
the long-range detection of other fish schools and marine mammals is possible.
Additional processing that would provide species identification of a wide
range of fish schools is currently being investigated. Funding has
been provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (6).
Long-Range Tuna School Detection Sonar System Design Specification, NOAA
Adminstrative Report SWR-98-01, December 1997, Download Report (Word 97
View Presentation on System Design
The Next Steps - White Paper
Acoustic Temperature Profiling. SciFish is currently
developing a sonar system that can estimate the temperature from the surface
to the bottom without dropping an instrument to collect the data.
This project is funded by the Department of Defense with commercial spin-offs
to the fisheries being planned. Funding provided by the Navy Underwater
Warfare Center (7), the Advanced Research
Projects Agency (8) and the Office of
Naval Research (9).
Sediment Classification. Scientific Fishery Systems,
Inc. (SciFish) proposed the development of a broadband acoustic sediment
classification system that can identify various types of sediment contaminants.
By utilizing the broadband signatures of bottom reflections on a narrow-beam
sonar, there is evidence that reliable estimates of contaminants can be
identified. In preliminary experiments, conducted in preparation
for this proposal, SciFish has demonstrated over 90% correct sediment classification
on individual broadband sonar echoes. Furthermore, analysis of the
echo spectra clearly shows the erratic behavior that is prevalent in contaminated
sediments. No funding has been received for this project area yet.
Fish Length Estimation. Scientific Fishery Systems,
Inc. proposed the development of a portable broadband sonar fish length
estimation system. This system will exploit the relationship between
target strengths at multiple frequencies and the length of a given species
of fish. Preliminary experiements, conducted in preparation of this
proposal, have demonstrated better than 90% classification accuracy of
this approach -- a significant improvement over existing sonar techniques.
No funding has been received for this project area yet.
Passive Long-Range Crab Detection. Scientific Fishery
Systems, Inc. (SciFish) proposed the development of a passive broadband
acoustic system that can detect and potentially identify a variety of crustaceans.
Crustacean sound production has been noted for centuries, but has been
little studied. The bulk of the studies conducted to date have been on
various species of lobster and are dated. However, they indicate
source levels between 116 and 180 dB//mPa. The advent of towed acoustic
array technology places these acoustic levels well within the detectable
range, since the array can be placed in a significantly lower noise regime,
away from the tow vessel and below the primary thermal gradient.
No funding has been received for this project area yet.
Ambient Noise Imaging of Fish Schools. Scientific Fishery
Systems, Inc. (SciFish) proposed to utilize “acoustic daylight” to create
an assessment system for highly migratory fish stocks along jurisdictional
boundaries. The system would be remotely deployed to continuously
monitor fish movement over long time periods. The system would consist
of strings of hydrophones each arranged to observe a segment of the water
column across a choke point in the migration route. Deployment options
of free-standing moors or bottom mounted arrays would be examined for both
operating qualities and longevity in high traffic areas. No funding has
been received for this project area yet.
Observer’s Associate. SciFish just recently began developing
a machine-vision based fish identification system that would be placed
on board a fishing vessel and used to catalog the fish that are caught.
This product, targeted as an assistance device for the Observers Program,
will allow a fisher to collect pictures and measurements of as many as
20 fish per minute. This data can be directly stored in a database
and then transmitted to the proper reporting agencies. Funding has
been provided by the National Science Foundation (10).
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