When Japan was struck last year with a massive earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, it affected everyone. Among those groups were the fishermen on the coast of the Iwate prefecture. Yet instead of waiting for the government to aid them in rebuilding the fishing industry, some individuals took matters into their own hands.
Enter Kenichiro Yagi, who installed laptops and webcams on four boats, in an effort to record information about his fishing trips online. As a result, Yagi and his crews are better able to cater what they catch to meet the demand from consumers. And computer vision is helping to play a role in this.
How it could work is that computers installed on trawling systems would be able to identify fish based on their scales. Those that don’t meet the demand will be returned to the sea, avoiding an excess of product which customers don’t specifically want.
There are downsides to this technology, however. First and foremost, it’s not certain that this kind of computer vision technology exists in such advanced stages. Secondly, experts claim that much of what’s returned to the sea will likely already have been killed in the trawling process.
But it’s still interesting to think how this could revolutionize fishing, allowing consumers to be specific in their demands and fisherman to supply the precise product requested.