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HyFiVe: "Hydrography on Fishing Vessels" - joint research project to develop an innovative sensor system used at fishing vessels for autonomous hydrographic measurements, data transfer and analysis - module B

01.07.2021 - 31.08.2024
Project coordinated by:
Thünen Institut für Ostseefischerei
Project manager (IOW):
Dr. Michael Naumann
Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung
Associated Institutions:
Hensel Elektronik

The recording of hydrographic conditions is of central importance for the assessment of the state of marine ecosystems. Currently, data collection is spatially and temporally insufficient and very costly. More efficient data collection would not only help to better understand the marine ecosystem, but is relevant to many scientific and economic issues:

- Forecasts of fish stocks

- robust advice on future fishing quotas

- monitoring of the marine environment of the North and Baltic Seas (HELCOM)

- status on ocean acidification, oxygen deficiency and eutrophication

- targeted implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)

In the project, we plan to develop an autonomous measurement system that will be installed on board commercial fishing vessels (Ships-of-Opportunity) and autonomously record hydrographic conditions during fishing operations. This will allow a significant increase in the collection density of measurement data at a relatively low cost. The system is characterized by the following features:

- autonomous data logger for underwater use on the fishing gear to record parameters important to fish stocks (e.g., salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pressure)

- Unit on deck (surface unit) for wireless readout of data from the logger and transmission to the server on shore

- Server architecture including web service package (server on shore) to collect, process and visualize data from all vessels

- Optimized bidirectional data flow across all components

This project will develop a pre-prototype system for deployment on up to 10 fishing vessels. The experience gained during development and operation will be used to further develop the system to product maturity at a later stage. Sustainability of the system development will be achieved by:

- Feasibility study conducted in advance (completed in 2016).

- Development strategy focusing on modularity and flexibility

- Testing in the Baltic Sea (ideal model system) with subsequent adaptation to other marine areas and use cases.

- Licensing through a commercial open source license to ensure connectivity of development.

- Great demand worldwide for autonomous hydrographic measurement systems