Japanese fish industries are starting to use artificial intelligence to select high-quality fish at markets and find good fishing grounds, areas where they have traditionally relied largely on experience and intuition. AI tools are drawing attention because they can easily replicate proficient skills, including those needed to evaluate tuna quality and determine good spots to catch saury. When judging the quality of fish, buyers look at how fresh and firm the meat is and how much fat it puts on. "You need over 10 years of experience" to acquire an excellent eye, a fish market worker said. Advertising giant Dentsu Inc. and others jointly developed and put into practical use a smartphone app that enables users to easily pick out delicious tuna.
It's therefore little wonder that we're witnessing changes to the industry. These include moving fish farms into deeper waters – less accessible locations that will require technology to manage. Also, as aquaculture becomes more competitive, it's not just about practicing sustainability, it's about being able to prove it.
In the midst of crises such as Hurricane Laura, police brutality and a global health pandemic, agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are especially attentive to building resilience. At GovLoop's online training Thursday, NOAA Fisheries' Chief Information Officer (CIO) Roy Varghese shared five pillars around how the agency reimagined IT resilience. They include smart cloud adoption, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), partnerships, and recruiting, retaining and reskilling the workforce. Of these pillars, Varghese said that talent -- the people -- are at the center of building resilience. "IT resiliency, from my perspective, comes from our people," Varghese said.
A burst of technology in the 1960s--the Green Revolution--raised agricultural output significantly across developing economies. Since then, rising incomes have boosted protein consumption worldwide, and elevated new challenges: greenhouse-gas emissions from agriculture are increasing (more than a fifth of all emissions worldwide), while a host of practices, from waste to overfishing, threaten the sustainability of food supplies. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought these concerns to the fore: the disease has disrupted supply chains and demand, perversely increasing the amount of food waste in farms and fields while threatening food security for many. As agriculture gradually regains its footing, participants and stakeholders should be casting an eye ahead, to safeguarding food supplies against the potentially greater and more disruptive effects of climate change. Once again, innovation and advanced technologies could make a powerful contribution to secure and sustainable food production. For example, digital and biotechnologies could improve the health of ruminant livestock, requiring fewer methane-producing animals to meet the world's protein needs. Genetic technologies could play a supporting role by enabling the breeding of animals that produce less methane. Meanwhile, AI and sensors could help food processors sort better and slash waste, and other smart technologies could identify inedible by-products for reprocessing. Data and advanced analytics also could help authorities better monitor and manage the seas to limit overfishing--while enabling boat crews to target and find fish with less effort and waste.
As organizations gain more experience deploying machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) across different parts of the business, they're discovering new and interesting ways to use the technology. Typical use cases include established applications such as personalization, fraud detection, and speech recognition. But there's much more to explore. "The cloud enables extremely low-cost compute and storage, which opens up opportunities for more modeling," says Sri Elaprolu, senior leader, Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab. "There's lots of innovation yet to happen. We are barely scratching the surface."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to leverage machine learning to improve its ability to verify marine species. NOAA's Fisheries Sampling Branch is responsible for monitoring and observing fishing in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Over the last 25 years, FSB has worked to make this identification easier for its observers -- who started out taking pictures of samples of frozen fish with film cameras, noting the location and focusing on the unique characteristics that allow differentiation of each fish species, such as whole body, gills or fins. The images were submitted within 48 hours and verified by other observers. Currently, images -- which still vary greatly in quality due to different cameras, photographic conditions and characteristics of the species -- are upload to the Fish House, a web-based user interface for a Oracle relational database that is used for species verification.
Endangered sperm whales are less likely to forage for food at dawn in some areas of the Mediterranean, underwater robotic equipment has revealed. Unmanned underwater robots equipped with acoustic monitors recorded the sperm whale sounds over several months and thousands of miles of ocean. Sperm whales emit distinct'clicks' to sense objects from reflected sound waves – a process called echo-location – and social interaction purposes. The recordings confirmed the whales' widespread presence in the north-western Mediterranean Sea – especially in the Gulf of Lion, just of the south coast of France. However, in the Gulf of Lion, click recordings showed a clear pattern of decreased foraging efforts, indicated by fewer clicks, at dawn.
Huge fleets of Chinese fishing boats have been caught stealthily operating in North Korean waters--while having their tracking systems turned off. The potentially illegal fishing operation was revealed through a combination of artificial intelligence, radar and satellite data. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. A study published today in the journal Science Advances details how more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin (over 900 in 2017 and over 700 in 2018) likely caught more than 160,000 metric tons--close to half a billion dollars' worth--of Pacific flying squid over two years. This may be in violation of United Nations sanctions, which began restricting North Korea from foreign fishing in September 2017 following the country's ballistic missile tests.
Huge fleets of Chinese fishing boats have been caught stealthily operating in North Korean waters – while having their tracking systems turned off. The potentially illegal fishing operation was revealed through a combination of artificial intelligence, radar and satellite data. A study published today in the journal Science Advances details how more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin (over 900 in 2017 and over 700 in 2018) likely caught more than 160,000 metric tons --close to half a billion dollars' worth -- of Pacific flying squid over two years. This may be in violation of United Nations sanctions, which began restricting North Korea from foreign fishing in September 2017 following the country's ballistic missile tests. Illegal fishing threatens fish stocks and maritime ecosystem, and can also jeopardise food security for legitimate fishers.
Satellite imaging has revealed hundreds of vessels from China fishing off the coast of North Korea, violating UN resolutions prohibiting such activity in the largest known case of vessels from one country operating unlawfully in another country's waters. More than 800 vessels were seen in 2019, say researchers at the non-profit Global Fishing Watch, who traced the boats to Chinese ports and waters. A similar number were seen in 2017 and 2018. They estimate that the vessels, about a third of China's long-range fishing fleet, caught more than 160,000 tonnes of flying squid, rivalling the Japanese and South Korean total. Stocks of the squid, the main commercially fished species in the area, have declined dramatically in recent years.