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Marine Conservation / Feed

Bringing together many of our community's tech types like bioacoustics, biologging, drones, remote sensing, machine learning, and more, the Marine Conservation group is a meeting point to begin innovative collaborations and answer difficult questions.

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New app aims to take a bite out of illegal shark fin trade

Conservation International
Powered by artificial intelligence, a new app called Fin Finder enables customs inspectors to take a photo of a shark or ray fin and identify it within seconds. Developed by Conservation International in partnership...

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Self-powered Buoy collecting vital sensor data -- Looking for conservation projects to collaborate with

Hey all! I work for a company called Sofar Ocean Technologies that is doing really cool work in the ocean conservation world and I'm interested in getting them to collaborate more...

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Hello Aadithya,

Excited to hear about your marine acoustics outreach. I am interested to explore the possibilities of collaborative work on this line.

One of my doctoral scholars is about to submit his thesis on terrestrial acoustic studies. Please respond to [email protected] (as I may likely miss responses if any, send to this group). 

Regards

Jaishanker

Hi Jaishanker, I just reached out to over email, apologies for the delay. We are interested in working with underwater hydrophones and this might be of use in your specific case study. Bristlemouth's timeline is still being created, but we're hoping to have devkits ready closer to the end of this year. I'm happy to chat more to learn about the specific research you are doing and how we can best help!

If you're looking to identify collaborators - probably lots of organizations listed in the Conservation Tech Directory would be interested (quick prelim search yields orgs like Echospace, European Tracking Network, FACT network, IMOS, IOOS, other tracking networks like that, USA's NEON, eOceans, Oceans+)! Also org's like Blue Ventures, Save our Seas (run acoustic tracking array), MBON (run Biotrack) come to mind. 

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event

MTS TechSurge

Marine Technology Society
The Marine Technology Society is hosting their latest MTS TechSurge event - Florida Estuary and Coastal Monitoring - Looking Ahead to 2030. Register now on the Marine Technology Society website and join them on 12 - 14...

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Looking for marine biologists - Bioacoustic data processing made easier!

Are you a Marine biologist? Deep Voice has exciting news for you! We are looking for 5-10 Marine bio-acoustics researchers to enjoy an extraordinary opportunity. Deep Voice has...

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Hi @carlybatist !
Thanks a lot for the recommendations!

Hi Evelina - I would be interested in discussing this.  I work with dolphin acoustics in the Chesapeake Bay, which is a particulalry challenging noise environment.  Happy to try something new!

Cheers,

Robert

Hi @cosmicspittle !
Thank you for your interest to our technology! I sent you a private message to continue the discussion.

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discussion

Tech Tutors: How do I use animal-borne imaging technology in marine and terrestrial environments?

Hi Wildlabbers, We're so excited for tomorrow's episode about National Geographic's Crittercam with Tech Tutor Kyler Abernathy, who'll talk to us about how...

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Hi @Rob+Appleby !

The implementation in the Vectronic camera collar is purely store on board - no transmission.

I believe they simply stuck one of the Foxeer action ("Box") cameras inside and wakes it up and triggers it according to the camera schedule uoloaded to the collar (still and video options). 

RunCam is another manufacturer of FPV and action cameras which might be interesting for you.

Cheers,

Lars

 

Hi Lars,

I have a colleague that's successfully used the Mobius cam system (https://www.mobius-actioncam.com/) for camera collars as well. RC cams are popular choice it seems. I have been attempting to tweak cheaper 'cube' cameras (e.g. https://tinyurl.com/w72kh77r) to do a similar job. I am using a bit of Frankestein's monster array of small control boards, including an Adafruit low power timer (https://www.adafruit.com/product/3573) and a SparkFun pro mini (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11113). I am using an SMD transistor as a switch to control power, and another could be added to control settings if needed. Hoping to do a tutorial on it at some point in case there's any interest. 

Cheers,

Rob

Would certainly be cool to see a tutorial on this! Looking forward to that!

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discussion

Job openings in marine tech & ML

Materials Engineer at Running Tide - https://jobs.lever.co/runningtide/f1f38773-1369-4a5c-a6ae-ce952a10ad3c Electrical Engineer at Running Tide - https://jobs.lever....

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discussion

IoTs in Marine protected area management

How the Internet of Things  (IoTs) can help in marine protected area management? Does anyone know if there is any existing system available and how it can be implemented...

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Hi Mauman. 

Did you have a specific application in mind? There are quite a few IoT systems but they all need to be pieced together. If there's a specific application context, I think it'd be an interesting discussion to have though. 

Akiba

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discussion

Calling all hydrophone users!

Who are we? We are Open Acoustic Devices, makers of the AudioMoth. AudioMoth is a low-cost, open-source acoustic monitoring device widely used for terrestrial...

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Survey Results​

The attached report presents the results of the hydrophone survey, performed between 26th November 2020 and the 20th December 2020. 

If you missed out in particcipating, we'll be leaving the survey open for as long as neccesary to build up a better idea of use-cases. You can take the survey HERE 

We can then update the results later in the year. 

 

Glad it was useful Steph.

We'll be leaving the survey open for as long as neccesary to build up a better idea of use-cases. So if any hydrophone users missed out you are more than welcome to add yours responses. We can then update the results later in the year. 

Andy

Team Open Acoustic Devices

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discussion

New low cost DIY temperature loggers for reef monitoring

NOAA (including legend Jim Hendee) have developed some new low cost temperature loggers - $9 for parts, pretty good! See the...

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hi Andy,

This looks very interesting!  I've been working with (or at?) temperature loggers for a while, and the interchangeable thermistor idea here is the most promising where accuracy at low cost is concerned.  It's important to note it is the accuracy of the thermistor that is 0.05 degC; the accuracy overall of the logger is going to be less.  I've not been able to find more technical details such as part numbers or schematics, so it's hard to get a handle on that.  Concerning cost,  I do know however that similar thermistors run on the order of $10 in onesies, which makes me think the $9 BOM cost is attainable at qty 1k or 10k.

Thanks,

-harold

Oh, that looks like such an interesting project. I like that the cratering of hardware costs is enabling projects like this to happen. I have some comments on the build which are definitely not a criticism since I love seeing applications of technology that serve an actually useful purpose.

If the goal of the hardware is to measure temperature at a low price point, I would offer some suggestions on possible ways to bring the price down or improve the design while bringing down the cost:

  • Instead of a preform PET tube, it might be an idea to use old PET drink bottles. The preform bottles would either need to be included with the design kit or be found easily by anyone wanting to test out the design. This would mean manufacturing your own tubes and caps which would be a pain. Instead, I would recommend using empty PET drink bottles. These could likely be hardened to be watertight to X meters and would both repurpose the plastic for something useful and remove the need to manufacture custom plastic. PET drink bottles are usually specified to withstand fairly high pressures due to holding carbonated drinks and are definitely waterproof. @htarold  would actually be the expert on the feasibility of this approach. 
  • Re-design the board to integrate everything. [Note: I realize it might be difficult to do these changes, so if you're in contact with the people on this project, I'm okay to advise or contribute time to help implement them] In re-designing the board, you could create a form factor that fits into the above-mentioned PET bottles saving on those as a system cost. It's also possible to custom design the power supply to optimize the power and maintain stability. The board being used is designed to run at 5V, but you can actually run that microcontroller down to1.8V reducing the power by a factor of almost 10 (power consumption is proportional to voltage^2).  It might also be worthwhile to consider using a precision voltage reference rather than the power supply as voltage reference. Even if you have a precision sensor, if your voltage reference isn't at least as precise, that would introduce uncertainty. I believe @htarold was referring to this in the above post. And finally you can integrate the sensor and all associated components onto a single board saving the cost and labor of the prototyping perfboard needed underneath the Nano.
  • From the pictures in the paper, it looks like the sensor is located inside the plastic tube. If that's the case, what it's sensing is the air inside the tube, and the unspoken assumption is that the ocean temperature will reach equilibrium with the tube walls which will reach equilibrium with the air temperature so the sensor will reflect the ocean temperature. I think it's a valid assumption, but air, especially non-moving air, is a poor thermal conductor so it would take a long time to detect changes in ocean temperature. One possible idea would be to use a sensor that is actually directly inserted into the water. This would sample the actual ocean temperature in real time and would respond more quickly to any changes, ie: if the temperature changes at night vs day, etc. Thermistors can actually be purchased encased in stainless steel tubes. Or for a specialty precision thermistor like this, it's also possible to purchase a stainless steel temperature sensor tube housing and manually insert the sensor. An image of an encased thermistor is below.
  • It might be possible to provide the components in kit form and lightly disguised as a soldering learning kit as well. That way, it's possible to have "soldering workshops" where people learn how to solder by assembling these kits. Attendees learn a new skill while protecting the environment, the orgs get temperature dataloggers, save the cost of assembly, and perhaps even make a bit of money for soda and chips if attendees pay to learn how to solder :)

If the Opuhala project wants, we can help procure components wholesale through our purchasers. 
Anyways, it sounds like a great project, if they need any advice or help, we're happy to contribute to improve reef health. 

Akiba, FreakLabs

Hi Akiba,

I made a mistake, I did manage to find some +/-0.05 degC thermistors for USD4 on Digikey, so the USD9 figure can be feasible in low quantitites.  I actually bought a bunch of the thermistors you linked to; the part variation is quite high so calibration is needed to get good results.  I think this is one area where we can truly say Cheap, Accurate, Simple: pick 2.  Edward Mallon whom the authors also cite https://thecavepearlproject.org/ has blogged extensively on this.

Personally I would try to avoid analoque devices because I don't want to deal with having to amplify it, which is where the errors creep in.  Maxim make an ADC that directly compares resistance ratios, and HX711 simplifies bridge measurements.  I'm not sure how this logger does it; the Arduino's ADC isn't very good as you said.  The MAX30205 human body temperature sensor may be worth looking in to for this application.  The measurement range is small but probably adequate for this application, and the accuracy is well documented.

The sensor time constant is a bit high but should be ok for for this low-rate application, and kudos to the authors for characterising it.  There are applications where the time constant needs to be <1s, like for ocean turbulence structure measurement, but that is more physical oceanography and only indirectly wildlife conservation.  The internal sensor simplifies the logger and this is a big advantage in this instance, one I have taken advantage of in the past.

I have considered PET bottles in the past and it is very attractive.  They do very well with internal pressure (7 bar I think!) but with external pressure they are prone to buckling.  One approach may be to re-mould the bottle to be smaller so the walls are thicker.  This should be easy because the bottle shrinks with the application of heat anyway.

I like cheap hardware too!  Plus it goes well with citizen science in a field where investigation is labour intensive and it lends itself well to outreach efforts.

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discussion

Minimising habitat impact of trawling gear

Hi all, There's a lot of innovation out there to minimise species impacts of midwater fishing gear (e.g. turtle excluder devices and other net escape panels, acoustic/...

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K O

There's a wing trawling system that was developed: https://www.facebook.com/wingtrawlingsystem/

I saw the presentation at a recent Ocean Exchange webcast (https://www.oceanexchange.org/webcast-library/2/)

Cheers,

Kortney

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discussion

Machine learning fish monitoring and the seafood sector

Hi all, Here at FFI, we've had some interest from seafood and aquaculture sector contacts in Google X's recently launched Tidal project and the whole camera-based,...

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Do the people approaching you have defined porblem statements or use cases? That's been one of the biggest challenges in scaling high-tech fisheries monitoring from either the public or private side. Unless there's a mandate to use it (which there is in Australia and the EU) the ROI is usually too low for individuals or companies to invest in it, and the potential markets are too small. Check out this CEA/TNC report for more scoping. http://tnc.org/emreport

Thanks Kate - that's really helpful. The company in question are investors in an emerging high-end aquaculture venture and I assume their interest is around utilising individual fish tracking to drive greater efficiency i.e. to adjust feed inputs, estimate growth rates, detect disease etc. all of which seems to be the intention of the Tidal Project. I'll get back to them with more questions and make some onward connections. If anyone else in the community has any linkages - please drop me a line on here!

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discussion

Turtle Monitoring DB

Does anyone know of a turtle monitoring DB or perhaps a data model in SMART for turtle monitoring? I have a partner in Africa looking for a solution. Any leads appreciated....

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Hi Ted,

WildTrack is working with the Epicollect5 app that makes it easy to collect turtle images and record a row of data for each one. It's also great for citizen scientists to use. We're using it to monitor Box Turtles and using a morphometric approach to identify individuals. 

Hope this helps,

~Zoe

Hi @[email protected] 
Not sure what kind of data you (or the partner organization) are interested in collectig/logging. 

SWOT just did a short article on the last issue magazine of the apps available for turtle monitoring
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b80290bee1759a50e3a86b3/t/5e595027e3b0144b63f281a4/1582911527409/SWOT15_38-39_Smart+Apps.pdf

The just-launched "Sea Turtle Rescue Alliance" has partnered with ProVET to provide a dedicated platform (App and desktop) to record all turtle related data from the arrival at the rescue center to the release, from biometrics to the daily husbandry and medical data. 
The ProVet platform will be distributed globally as part of the Alliance work to enhance marine turtle medicine and will be supported by a dedicated Microsoft Team learning and data-sharing platform for the Alliance members. The first 3 Rescue Centers have just started the trial and data migration phase and will be available to other stranding or rescue centers on tiers (as will need some support ) across 2021-22. Membership to the Alliance will be regulated but should be free, depending on the data volume, size of the centers and the specific features requested from ProVET.
The website should be up and running before Christmas. 
https://www.facebook.com/seaturtlerescuealliance
Happy to provide more info as the platform becomes available.
 

Hi @[email protected] and all,

Please check out https://iot.wildbook.org

Cloud-based data management and computer vision for photo ID using the WIldbook platform. We would love to support additional groups and species.

Thanks,

Jason

 

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