Construction of a trilateral network for the automatic, continuous, non-invasive monitoring of fish stocks through development of a mobile and a portable underwater fish observatory and their coupling with an existing stationary underwater fish observatory in Kiel Bight
In UFOTriNet, an intelligent underwater test network of innovative stationary and mobile UFO units is being developed with the aim of automatically and continuously monitoring the diversity and abundance of fish populations and their environment.
The aim of the present project is to develop a trilateral test network consisting of a mobile and a portable underwater fish observatory (UFO), to link both with an existing pre-prototype UFO, to standardize the automatic pattern recognition for all three components and to optimize them so that species, size and weight classification can be achieved with a high statistical certainty (at least 95%). It is a highly interdisciplinary, complex topic that must include biological, physical-oceanographic, geographic as well as technical, logistical, political and legal conditions. The resulting data (acoustics, stereo optics, environmental sensors) should be fed into an integrated, newly to be built data and information system with online access. In this way, an automated, cost-effective and non-invasive alternative to ship-based monitoring of fish stocks will be developed and tested in Kiel Bight as a contribution to a reformed, evidence-based fisheries policy. Similar to the existing stationary UFO system, the mobile and the portable underwater fish observatories will also combine modern acoustic and optical methods for monitoring fish stocks being provided as a coupled hybrid system (coupling of near field (optics) and far field (acoustics)). The coupled system tests in Kiel Bight ensure low logistics costs, as they are performed close to the coast. Additional research vessel sampling campaigns will provide comparative information for data calibration, data blending, and data conversion, while at the same time providing an important contribution for an improved understanding of the processes helping to optimize hardware design and pattern recognition algorithms for the trilateral UFO network.
The workflow in the form of work packages (AP) is as follows:
AP1 - Design and development of the UFOmobil (AUV). AP1 concentrates on the integration of the hardware for the UFOmobil (AUV) component and the associated software development. The hardware integration focuses on the implementation of opto-acoustic sensors and an optimized power supply. Software development concentrates on the development of a control algorithm as well as hovering, stalking, "homing" and various "tracking" modes.
AP2 - Design and development of the UFOportabel as well as sensor extension, optimization and maintenance of the UFOstationary. In relation to the portable UFO, AP2 focuses on the integration of the opto-acoustic hardware and the realization of portability, the hardware integration of new sensors into the existing stationary UFO, the optimization of the processing of "big data", the improvement of the optoacoustic pattern recognition for fish and other marine organisms, the optimization of the maintenance intervals and their implementation as well as controlled experiments on the effectiveness of UV-C radiation as an antifouling tool for the optical units.
AP3 - Data Processing, Integration, Validation & Calibration. In AP3, a series of standard tests are developed and performed to ensure international standards for an integrated assessment of fish stocks: Calibration and validation of the collected data, conversion of 2D information into 3D information, scientifically adequate evaluation of data quality and provision of adequate data processing facilities.
AP4 - Project management and coordination. AP4 focuses on the technical and administrative administration, the use of modern communication infrastructure, the effective implementation of APs, the close cooperation between the partners, the securing of the project objectives as well as the contact to the project executing agency and the BMEL.
5.2019 - 6.2022
Project funding number: 2819111518
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: ongoing