Eco-Friendly Fisheries project aims to substantially reduce the fuel consumption, optimize by-catch avoidance, reduce time for search of resources and impact on the seabed. These goals will be accomplished by transmitting images under the water from the trawl net to the bridge of a fishing vessel. This will enable the captain and the crew to have a real time visual of what is contained in the net and take timely actions.
If the net is filled with desired species, the crew may decide to complete fishing, rather than continuing fishing blindly, leading to a substantial fuel savings. If the net is seen not to contain desired species, then the trawl can be steered to a different hunting zone to avoid fuel waste. If a by-catch is seen to be captured in the net, vessel can take a pause, allowing the by-catch to escape. Likewise if the trawl is realized to come to contact with sensitive subsea habitat, action can be taken. By the same token, damage to the fishing gear can be avoided.
The project will build and expand upon Marecomms’ underwater acoustic wifi technology, termed AQUABAND.
AQUABAND is based on a scientific breakthrough, and is the world’s first and only subsea acoustic wifi system. In the Eco-Friendly Fisheries project, AQUABAND technology will be tailored to address the requirements of the commercial fishing vessels. Specifically, an AQUABAND transmitter, containing a camera and a light source, will be affixed on the frame of a trawl net, capturing and transmitting images in real time, which are converted to and transmitted as sound waves. An AQUABAND receiver will be accommodated on the vessel, which will convert the transmitted sound waves back into electrical signals using underwater microphones, and then restore and reconstruct the original transmitted images for the captain and crew to review.
Principal Investigator: Ulaş Güntürkün, Marecomms Inc.
Partners: Neil Laamanen, SEATAC (NSCC); Bruce Armstrong, Geospectrum Technologies