November 3, 2006

Using computers to look for fish

A computer automatically highlighted a rockfish and a sea star in this underwater video clip.

A computer automatically highlighted a rockfish and a sea star in this underwater video clip.

Some time in the next year, the MARS observatory will allow researchers to watch 24-hour-a-day live video of the deep seafloor off Monterey Bay. This video will help scientists observe the behavior of deep-sea animals. Most of the time, however, there will be nothing to see but bare, muddy seafloor. Over the last few weeks, MBARI engineer Duane Edgington and his team members have been testing a computer system that will analyze undersea video to determine when something interesting is happening. This system will let scientists known when relatively large objects (such as fish) move past the camera. The team is also working on similar projects with two shallower ocean observatories off the coasts of Georgia and British Columbia.

For additional information or images relating to this article, please contact: Kim Fulton-Bennett
831-775-1835, kfb@mbari.org