Fishing with Machine Vision

Two Netherlands-based companies developed an automated inspection system that sorts shrimp for consumption and returns other fish unharmed back into the ocean. According to Seeker, without fundamental restructuring of the fishing industry, the oceans could become empty of fish by 2050. Modern technological advances can contribute enormously to sustainable use of natural resources.

The vacuum system brings in the catch and distributes it on a conveyor belt, where a camera inspection system determines if the object is a shrimp or a fish. Up to 20 images can be analyzed per second depending on the speed of the belt.

If the camera classifies the object as a fish, it is returned to the ocean. The software then automatically sorts the shrimp into three different size categories. Once categorized, a controller receives the image data via an Ethernet connection, prompting different air nozzles to active blasts of air to sort the shrimp by size into the appropriate container. The system can sort up to 300 kilograms of shrimp per hour.

Sorting shrimp on the ship with the automated inspection system helps ensure fish or other marine species caught are released back into the ocean.