Saving whales with artificial intelligence

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Saving whales with it’s artificial intelligence

Technology would detect them 25 times faster than the human eye.

A photo taken on July 16, 2019 of Snake Eyes, a North Atlantic right whale. A few months later, she died, after being entangled in fishing gear.

A Montreal company uses artificial intelligence to spot marine mammals such as whales and seals as well as polar bears.

Technology developed by Whale Seeker would detect these animals 25 times faster than the human eye.

Aerial images are part of the tools used by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other organizations to understand the behavior of marine mammals and put in place measures to protect them.

A study conducted jointly by the Aquatic Research Division of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the company Whale Seeker compared the results of analysis of aerial images of belugas and narwhals carried out by researchers with the x27;image analysis made by the Möbius artificial intelligence tool.

The results, published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, show that Möbius managed to analyze 5500 images in 53 hours, while the researchers performed the same work, with the naked eye, in 1300 hours.

This technology is as good as a human at detecting whales, but 25 times faster, said Emily Charry Tissier, biologist and president of the Whale Seeker company.

North Atlantic right whale entangled in fishing gear rescued in 2019 in Gulf of St. -Laurent.

Many of the marine mammal inventories we carry out are based on the manual analysis of aerial photographs. One of the limitations of this method is the time required to read and process the photos. We believe that an automated solution, such as Möbius, could speed up data analysis, thereby contributing to sustainable and sustainable management of marine mammal populations, wrote Cortney Watt, co-author and researcher at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in a press release issued by Whale Seeker.

According to Emily Charry Tissier, Möbius can save whales by, for example, allowing the maritime industry to avoid collisions with cetaceans, by more accurately assessing whether or not certain fishing areas need to be closed.< /p>

It allows to have data on a much smaller scale in time and space and decision makers are able to make decisions much faster with more precision.

Emily Charry Tissier explained that for the moment, consulting companies that carry out impact studies and monitoring of marine mammals, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but also ocean conservation organizations use data from the company it founded in 2018 with biologist Bertrand Charry and computer developer Antoine Gagné-Turcotte.

The entrepreneur now wants intelligence artificial that it has developed is used by organizations managing protected areas and marine protected areas, ports, but also Transport Canada.

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