fishal recognition spanner crabs
Spanner crab automatic detection video technology. Screenshot from DAF Qld video.

Fishal recognition technology helps monitor commercial catches

CUTTING-edge technology including fish image (fishal) recognition is being used to automatically collect information on commercial fishing in ground-breaking research funded by the Queensland Government.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the feasibility stage of the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research program had produced promising results.

“The two successful applicants Anchor Lab and Fish-e have been working closely with Fisheries Queensland to develop high-tech systems to monitor commercial fishing location, effort and catch,” Mr Furner said. “Electronic monitoring technology, including cameras, sensors and image recognition software, has been installed on a range of commercial fishing vessels over the past six months. Electronic monitoring is used in commercial fishing fleets across the world, but fisheries agencies often have to review video footage manually. This project aims to automate that process and eventually provide a ‘digital observer program’ and even replace logbooks that commercial fishers currently fill in.”

The two companies were awarded Queensland Government funding of $278,300 for the feasibility stage of the SBIR challenge. Following the successful feasibility stage, they will both share in $614,200 for the project’s proof of concept phase over a 12-month period to test and refine the technology.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the SBIR program was a win-win for innovative companies and the government, allowing them to work together on a product or service that was needed but not previously available.  “This program is about working with Queensland’s best and brightest to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the government,” Minister Jones said. “We’re supporting innovative businesses to bring their cutting-edge products into the public service and ultimately help us deliver better outcomes for Queenslanders. This high-tech fish monitoring system will be a valuable tool for Queensland’s growing fisheries industry and could appeal to a global market.”

Advance Queensland is the State Government’s $650 million whole-of-government initiative, supporting jobs across a range of industry sectors.

View the test videos here: Anchor Lab

And here: Fish-e

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