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AI Bot Designed to Tackle Illegal Fishing

A new underwater artificial intelligence bot that can identify actions that endanger the ecosystem of the ocean is being developed by scientists.

AI Bot Designed to Tackle Illegal Fishing

Southampton scientists begin work on AI bot to tackle illegal fishing. Image Credit: University of Southampton

During the development of an offshore wind farm, Aqua will be utilized to detect illegal fishing and save marine creatures.

The AI system, code-named MARLIN, employs underwater sensors to remotely monitor animal, human, and environmental activities anywhere in the ocean before reporting data back in real-time, and it has received more than £700,000 in funding from Innovate UK.

Using the power of artificial intelligence to monitor sound in the underwater world, combined with the ability to rapidly relay information ashore, will enable us to provide tools to protect fragile marine ecosystems and detect a range of illegal activities.

Paul White, Professor, Statistical Signal Processing, University of Southampton

Large ships are frequently employed for ocean monitoring missions, but the new MARLIN technology could minimize the amount of time these ships spend at sea, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by up to 75%.

This technology will revolutionize how we scientifically monitor our ocean environment. Currently we leave instruments underwater for months at a time and recover them before accessing their data.

Dr. Ryan Mowat, Research Director, RS Aqua

Mowat added, “MARLIN will get that data to the internet in real time, and its implications are huge. It will help ensure that offshore construction is sensitive to marine mammal activity and will enable the monitoring of marine protected areas through the real time recognition of illegal fishing activity.

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