Designing a mobile app that identifies in real time the fishing activity of vessels

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A multidisciplinary team composed of experts from the University of Huelva, Miguel Hernández University and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) has designed an innovative integrated system for monitoring fishing activities based on the use of sensors usually installed in a smartphone. to detect in real time, and depending on the movement of the vessel, what type of fishing activity is carried out on board. This information is relevant in the fishing industry for estimating the amount of fish in a particular part of the sea and calculating catches.

The novelty of this cheap app is its easy installation on any mobile device and the fast transfer of data in real time, in less than a second. In addition, as reported in the study titled “Is the Ship Fishing? Discrimination of Fishing Activities with Low-cost Intelligent Mobile Devices through Traditional and Heuristic Approaches,” published in the journal expert systems with applicationsthis tool makes it possible to determine with great precision where the vessel is, regardless of its size, and how much time it spends fishing.

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This mobile app, called FAMIS, provides instant information about the working phase of a vessel. In this context, the time that a vessel is fishing is decisive for the fishing effort assessment, i.e. for calculating the amount of catches in a given area and the amount of fish that can be present in that place at that time. to be.

Current fishing vessel monitoring systems indicate the location of boats over an extended period of time (approximately every three minutes), must be pre-installed on the vessel’s deck and monitored by the relevant fisheries authorities.

These are tracking systems similar to GPS that send a signal to land. “With this tool we can know the position of a boat, but during its time at sea we do not know how much time it has spent casting the nets, fishing and collecting all the material. The FAMIS app goes further and makes it possible to determine from the movement of the vessel which fishing maneuver it is performing at all times”, Fundación Descubre was told by Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Estrada, researcher at the University of Huelva and one of the authors of this study.

The experts, specializing in computer science, biology and marine science, have applied this system because both smartphones and tablets contain integrated sensors that make it possible to identify the movement of the ship from the data they record. “Depending on the type of maneuver (whether the boat is accelerating, pitching, rolling, etc.), the vessel has a characteristic movement that is reflected in the accelerometer. They also allow us to know if the vessel is casting its net, fishing or collecting his things,” says Gutiérrez Estrada.

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Credit: Fundación Descubre

Artificial intelligence on board

This system, which transmits information as soon as the mobile phone is placed on the deck of the boat, has been tested using various statistical methods and artificial intelligence models based on artificial neural networks and supporting vector machines. The app displays numerically and graphically on the screen all the information recorded by the various sensors: GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetic field. The most efficient model is integrated into the app and provides real-time information about the activity that the boat is performing.

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To demonstrate the usefulness of these sensors, tests were conducted from the oceanographic vessel Miguel Oliver during one of its voyages. This 70 meter long and 12 meter wide vessel is equipped with technological equipment for navigation, fishing and oceanographic research. “This boat makes it possible to record four to six net catches per day and to obtain data under very adverse conditions, given the large displacement and the lightweight characteristics of the fishing gear used for the sampling,” said the co-author of this study .

According to the experts, the model can be used with any type of vessel, as it can be calibrated and adapted for use on small boats. “The main benefit of this app for the fishing industry is its ability to count fishing effort, a fundamental parameter for estimating the relative abundance of fish in the sea,” says Gutiérrez Estrada.

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More information:
MM Galotto-Tébar et al, Is the vessel fishing? Discrimination of fishing activities with low-cost intelligent mobile devices through traditional and heuristic approaches, expert systems with applications (2022). DOI: 10.116/j.eswa.2022.117091

Provided by Fundación Descubre

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