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New probe will increase catch control in purse seines

Development of a new catch monitoring probe will provide a means of monitoring fish welfare and quality early in the capture process in purse seines, as well as providing a simplified and cost-effective method for species and size identification. 

During purse seine fishing, it is important to have control over the whole capture process, to maximize economic benefits from quotas, safeguard the quality of the raw material, ensure safety on board and follow fisheries regulations. To this end, substantial scientific research in recent years has developed methods and equipment for better harvest control in fishing for pelagic species such as herring and mackerel. 

Despite this research and development, it is still difficult for skippers to make informed decisions regarding catch regulation because current instruments are often unable to accurately identify catch size, fish size or species present in the catch. Therefore, new tools are needed to provide information at the earlier stages of capture, when it is still legal to release fish.

Jostein Saltskår test fires the air canon.

The focus of this project is the development of instruments, methods and tools for monitoring and visualization of fish schools and the net during capture by purse seine. As part of this, we are developing a “catch monitoring probe” (CMP equipped with cameras and other instruments for deployment in the purse seine. This technology will be used to provide information on species identification, fish size and behavior of the catch from early in the capture process. 

It is envisaged that this CMP will contain both stereo and 360° cameras, an oxygen and depth meter, compasses and real time Ethernet connectivity once completed. Stereo video images will provide an effective alternative to underwater acoustics for calculating size distribution and composition of catches, while the 360° camera will provide detailed information about school behavior without relying on fish being within the traditional field of view of the lens. The oxygen meter will provide information on the environmental conditions during capture. The CMP is deployed into the net using a compressed air cannon. 

Successful development of the (CMP) will enable fishermen and researchers to monitoring factors that affect fish welfare and quality at the early stage of capture, as well as providing an alternative to acoustic systems for species and size characterization. 

A 360 degree video from one of several deployments. The arrows in the upper left corner lets you navigate within the video. VR goggles will give you the best experience of how it is to be deployed in the net. 




Funding for this work has been provided by The Research Counsil of Norway (Projects RedSlip [#243885] and Norwegian CRISP (Centre for Research-based Innovation) and The Norwegian Seafood Research Fund- FHF (Projects “Beste praksis for slipping fra not” [#900999] and “Fangstkontroll I notfiske etter
pelagiske arter” [#901350]. 
Participants in this project are Mike Breen, Jostein Salskår, Bjørn Totland, Jan Tore Øvredal, and Neil Anders.