HyFiVe - Hydrography on Fishing Vessels



Development of an innovative system for use on fishing vessels for the autonomous acquisition, transmission and evaluation of hydrographic measurement data for fisheries research (HyFiVe)

In cooperation with the Leibnitz Institute for Baltic Sea Research and Hensel Elektronik GmbH, we are working on the development of an innovative system for use on fishing vessels for the autonomous acquisition, transmission and evaluation of hydrographic measurement data for interdisciplinary research

Background and Objective

The recording of hydrographic conditions is of central importance for the assessment of the state of marine ecosystems. Currently, data collection is spatially and temporally insufficient and very costly. More efficient data collection would not only help to better understand the marine ecosystem, but is relevant to many scientific and economic issues:

  • Fish stock forecasts
  • Reliable advice on future fishing quotas
  • Monitoring of the marine environment of the North and Baltic Seas (HELCOM)
  • State on ocean acidification, oxygen deficiency and eutrophication
  • Targeted implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSRL)

In the project, we plan to develop an autonomous measurement system that will be installed on board commercial fishing vessels (Ships-of-Opportunity) and autonomously record hydrographic conditions during fishing operations. This will allow a significant increase in the collection density of measurement data at a relatively low cost. This project will develop a pre-prototype system for deployment on up to 10 fishing vessels. The experience gained in the course of development and operation will serve to implement market ready product.


Existing data logger systems are not suitable for widespread autonomous use on fishing vessels. This requires functions such as autonomous data transmission of a large number of vehicles in quasi real time to a server on land, remote maintenance from land and intelligent power and trigger functions, which no system has offered so far. Therefore, the system will consist of the following components:

  • autonomous data logger for underwater use on the fishing gear to record parameters important to fish stocks (e.g. Salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pressure)
  • Unit on deck (surface unit) for georeferencing, wireless logger data reading and transmission to the server on shore
  • Server architecture including web service package (server on shore) to collect, process, and visualize data from all vessels
  • Optimized bidirectional data flow across all components

Sustainability of system development will be achieved through:

  • Feasibility study conducted in advance (completed in 2016)
  • Development strategy focusing on modularity and flexibility
  • Testing in the Baltic Sea (ideal model system) with subsequent adaptation to other marine areas and use cases.
  • Licensing through a commercial open-source license to ensure connectivity of the development
  • A widespread demand for autonomous hydrographic measurement systems

The development of the prototype will be accompanied by intensive field tests on research and commercial fishing vessels to validate the specified functions and to be able to extend and adapt them if necessary.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)


7.2021 - 8.2024

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 28-1-91.03A-20 - (HyFiVe)
Funding program: Innovationsförderung
Project status: ongoing