Imaging Trawls and Fish during Capture: System Development and Design Constraints at the AFSC

Scott McEntire , NMFS, DOC, NOAA, Seattle, WA
Imaging trawls and fish during capture:  System development and design constraints at the AFSC.

Scott McEntire, Alaska Fisheries Science Center,

Craig Rose, Ph.D., FishNextResearch,

We will provide an overview of imaging technology for use on commercial trawls developed by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s (AFSC) Conservation Engineering group (CE).  This technology was developed to assist in reducing bycatch in Alaska fisheries.   The challenge has been to find and select appropriate technology to be packaged and deployed on commercial trawl fishing gear that is both reliable and cost effective.  Optical imaging used in our systems has ranged from expensive intensified IR cameras to inexpensive low light security cameras and compact action cameras, all with emerging lighting technology.   Acoustic imaging systems used includes high end DIDSON systems for identifying and tracking fish beyond visual range to stand-alone scanning sonars for determining the configuration of trawl components.  All of these systems have similar design constraints that require power, control and the imaging components to be integrated into a ruggedized, pressure-proof package.  Each design has incorporated sensors, batteries, electronic and optical components, microcontroller, data storage devices, and the material and manufacturing processes to construct pressure housings and mounting hardware.