Innovative Autonomous System for Identifying Schools of Fish

Imdea Networks –

An international scientific initiative under the auspices of the European Union’s Horizon 2020, project SYMBIOSIS is developing an autonomous system to identify schools of fish, including information about their size and movements in deep waters. The University of Haifa is leading the project, while two teams from IMDEA Networks Institute in Madrid are contributing to the development effort. The SYMBIOSIS system integrates acoustic and optical technologies that require no human intervention, and will be able to transmit real-time warnings to coastal stations. These data will contribute to the formulation of ocean fishing policies and to enhanced protection of the marine environment.

“The system will be environmentally friendly, not only in its operation which will be non-invasive and won’t impact the marine ecosystem, but more importantly because it will provide reliable information about the condition of marine fish stocks. At present, it’s virtually impossible to collect such information without investing enormous resources. Using the latest optical and acoustic technology, we hope to change attitudes towards marine resources”, explained Dr. Roee Diamant of the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa, who is coordinating the initiative.

The development of fishing technology since the twentieth century has resulted in the growing realization that fishing is one of the most serious problems facing marine ecosystems. According to some estimates, if over-fishing is not brought under control, the world’s fish stocks may collapse by 2048. Global fishing authorities are hoping to curb over-fishing with new regulations and enforcement based on fish stocks.

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