The people that brought you lionfish derbies, Team Frapper, to help reduce the population of invasive lionfish in Florida’s coastal waters has a new project, using artificial intelligence to build a baitless trap to catch lionfish.
The lionfish derbies, organized events bringing fellow divers together for short periods to hunt lionfish in designated areas. The hunts do have an impact on lionfish populations, but divers are limited by factors including depth restrictions, surface conditions, visibility and currents.
Traps have the benefit of working around the clock, no matter the depth or water conditions. However, they also tend to unintentionally catch other creatures, also know as by-catch. This trap design utilized two major technological advances to eliminate by-catch 100%.
The first is a baitless attraction device that leverages the “gregarious nature of lionfish” to attract the fish. The second is the use artificial intelligence that used pattern recognition to operate the gate system that allows the fish into the trap.
Thanks to the unique profile of the lionfish, when the fish comes up to the gate of the trap, the sensor uses AI and the pattern recognition to determine it is a lionfish and then will open the gate to let the fish in. If another fish species swims up to the trap, the gate will deny entry.
The downside of this technology is the cost involved. The team had hoped to raise funds to deploy trials of the traps in Florida, but have teamed up with Lionfish University to participate in trials in the Cayman Islands. Check out the video below for a walkthrough of the trap.
[via Florida Today]