Launch of a waveglider off São Vicente (Cape Verde). Photo: INDP

Image of the Month: June 2018

The autonomous fish finder

Our Image of the month: June 2018  shows a Waveglider being launched off the coast of the island of São Vicente (Cape Verde). Waveglider are sensor platforms that, for several weeks or even months, can autonomously perform scientific missions in the open ocean, propelled by wave energy [Link]. Depending on the scientific questions they can be equipped with different sensors. The Wave Glider shown here carries a special echosounder that is able to detect fish and zooplankton in the upper 100 meters of the water column.

Although well-established in the fishery, this echosounder technology has also been successfully used in research to estimate the biomass in marine ecosystems. But mostly these "fish-finders” are only installed in ships and they have rarely been used around the Cape Verde Islands.

Funded by the Kiel Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean, such an echosounder was installed on a Wave Glider. Consequently, the mission becomes more flexible and cost-effective than corresponding observations with a ship. The data obtained will help to better understand the distribution of biomass around the Cape Verde Islands, which ultimately leads to better fisheries management and benefits local fishermen. In addition to GEOMAR, Kiel University and the das Thünen Institute for Sea Fischeries  were involved in the project.

 

Links:

http://waveglider.geomar.de Overview of all GEOMAR waveglider missions

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Fish market in Mindelo. Fisheries are an important economical factor for the Republic of Cape Verde . Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR

Fish market in Mindelo. Fisheries are an important economical factor for the Republic of Cape Verde . Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR