Millionstøtte til FiskHer:

Using artificial intelligence to locate fish

Fiskher has received 4.7 million Norwegian kroner by The Research Council’s innovation pot. The money is to be used on researching how artificial intelligence can
predict the movement patterns of the fish

– As a new and small start-up company, competing with more established companies all over the country, we have really had a lot of support from the start. According to entrepreneur and managing director of fiskher, Trond Are Gjone, this has given them some wonderful opportunities.

It was recently known that his company, along with 65 other companies, will be receiving funding through the Research Council’s innovation pot. 602 million has been distributed, of which 4.7 million goes to fiskher in collaboration with the research center NORCE.

Senior researcher Boyan Yuan at the Department of Technology at NORCE, together with mathematician and development manager Trond Svandal at fiskher, has in recent months carried out a preliminary project that led to an application to the Research Council. The results of the pilot project show that they are well on their way to reach their goal – to locate fish using artificial intelligence.

Combining knowledge with AI

– The 45.000 fishing grounds that are registered in the app today are all reg-istered manually. It took Asgeir Alvestad and Tommy Egra a year to regis-ter and draw them by hand. And this is only the coast of Norway. If we were to do similar work for the rest of the world, it would cost enormous amount of time and resources. What we are doing now is that we are digit-izing their knowledge. We feed the data that we have, the experience of some of the country’s very best anglers, into a computer. We are, to put it simply, making a digital copy of their heads, which can predict the fishing grounds for us, Svandal says.

By digitizing the parameters that determine where the fish moves, such as bio-top, bottom conditions, meteorological data and food supply, the com-puter can calculate where the fish stays, all year round. In practice, this means that the static fishing grounds can be replaced by dynamic fields. Meaning that from an office in southern Norway, you will be able to predict the movement patterns of fish along the coast of Chile with the same precision as in the southern archipelago.

– Besides locating the fish, we can contribute to good management of it. Fiskher can play a major role in this field, Yuan says.

– The societal values are enormous, especially in a sustainable perspective. It is difficult to estimate, but there are hundreds of millions of people who fish regularly worldwide. Herein lies a great economic value. But at the same time, it does come with some negative consequences, which fiskher can help reducing. This is exciting, and we are so grateful to be a research partner, and that the Research Council appreciates this work, Yuan says.

Contributing to sustainable management

– Sustainability is a key word, and we have a social responsibility. Fiskher is not meant to contribute to overfishing. What we want to do, however, is to give recreational anglers the best recommended places to fish, and at the same time contribute to good management by making it easier for them to report their catches. A lot of illegal fishing is due to the lack of information about where it is legal fish and what kinds of fish people are obligated to report, Svandal says.

Svandal is the mastermind behind the fish recognizer at fiskher, which shows you what kind of fish you have caught. Svandal and his team is working on expanding the function to also measure the size and weight of the fish.

Unique reporting tool

– If you can take a picture with your phone, press a button, and then you have reported a catch, we believe more people will do it. It will make it eas-ier on the authorities. With the funds that we have received, we will be able to develop this, Svandal says.

– Not only will this be an important tool for the authorities, but a planning tool that everyone who fish can benefit from, adds Gjone.

– Fiskher will play a very important role as an intermediary between the au-thorities and the recreational fishermen. Their work and dedication come at a favourable time, and they are working towards something no one else in the world is doing. They are also the first to turn artificial intelligence into economic value, Boyan says.