Schmidt Marine Fisheries Initiative 2022 - SOUND Project

SOUND: A swarm of low-cost floaters to acoustically perform in-situ fish stock assessment in remote areas

The SOUND project studies in-situ ocean monitoring which enables tracking of marine life via low-cost Lagrangian floaters that drift with the water current, while autonomously performing acoustic fish detection and fish biomass assessment activities (spreading the swarm throughout the water column vs focusing entire swarm on specific depth)​.

The aim is to achieve simple deployment requiring no additional permits, non-invasive aquaculture support, assisting fishermen and reducing bycatch – especially in remote and developing areas​.

The project’s technological contribution lies in two inter-related areas: ​underwater acoustics and marine robotics, with a novel underwater acoustic scheme for fish stock measurement that will combine probabilistic analysis with machine learning integrated into a novel design of an autonomous low-power and low-cost floater as a platform for marine exploration​, resulting in a TRL6 prototype for selected pilot tests.


Project outcomes and pilot tests:

  • Design and implement five Lagrangian floaters that autonomously collaborate to determine their depth for the optimal detection of fish. The price tag for each floater will be 4,000 USD for the initial five prototypes, with the goal of reaching 1,000 USD for serial production. Their maximum depth will be 50 m to fit most fish stocks, and their expected operation duration will be 5 days.​

  • Implement an acoustic fish detection and biomass evaluation scheme based on a single acoustic transceiver. The price tag for the electronics and transceiver will be 200 USD, making it a very low-cost sonar unit. The monitoring will be omnidirectional with an expected detection range of 100m and a biomass estimation accuracy of 10%.​

  • Perform 4 pilot tests for the developed system in Biograd na Moru, Croatia (Middle Adriatic Sea, Croatian part) and in Eilat, Israel. The tests will include ground truth comparison with acoustic surveys and information from local fishermen, with whom we have a long history of cooperation.​


Project partners: ​

  • University of Haifa (prof. Roee Diamant) ​

  • UNIZG-FER (prof. Nikola Mišković)

  • Institut Ruđer Bošković ( Neven Cukrov)


Financed by the Schmidt Foundation via the Global Fisheries Tech Initiative ($3.5 Million) - ​​

  • Total eligible costs: 404,800 USD ​​

  • UNIZG-FER: 138,600 USD