Tonachella, N., Martini, A., Martinoli, M. et al. 2022. An affordable and easy-to-use tool for automatic fish length and weight estimation in mariculture. Scientific Reports 12(1), 15642.
Common aquaculture practices involve measuring fish biometrics at different growth stages, which is crucial for feeding regime management and for improving farmed fish welfare. Fish measurements are usually carried out manually on individual fish. However, this process is laborious, time-consuming, and stressful to the fish. Therefore, the development of fast, precise, low cost and indirect measurement would be of great interest to the aquaculture sector. In this study, we explore a promising way to take fish measurements in a non-invasive approach through computer vision. Images captured by a stereoscopic camera are used by Artificial Intelligence algorithms in conjunction with computer vision to automatically obtain an accurate estimation of the characteristics of fish, such as body length and weight. We describe the development of a computer vision system for automated recognition of body traits through image processing and linear models for the measurement of fish length and prediction of body weight. The measurements are obtained through a relatively low-cost prototype consisting of a smart buoy equipped with stereo cameras, tested in a commercial mariculture cage in the Mediterranean Sea. Our findings suggest that this method can successfully estimate fish biometric parameters, with a mean error of ± 1.15 cm.