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Estimating Norway lobster abundance from deep-water videos: an automatic approach

Yee, L. ; Correia, P.L. ; Fonseca, P.F. ; Campos, A.C.

IET Image Processing Vol. 6, Nº 1, pp. 22 - 30, February, 2012.

ISSN (print): 1751-9659
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 0,514 (in 2008)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1049/iet-ipr.2009.0426

Video technology has been playing an increasing role in marine science, both for habitat mapping and estimating
commercial species abundance. However, when quantification is needed, it is usually based on manual counting, a subjective
and time-consuming task. The present work proposes a methodology to automatically quantify the abundance of Norway
lobsters, Nephrops norvegicus, by counting lobsters or their burrows from video sequences, as a reliable complement to the
currently used operator-based approach. The methodology is validated using a set of test video sequences captured at the
Portuguese continental slope, using a monochrome camera mounted on a trawl gear, being characterised by non-uniform
illumination, artefacts at image border, noise and marine snow. The analysis includes, after a pre-processing stage, the
segmentation of regions of interest and the corresponding classification into one of the three targeted classes: Norway
lobsters, burrows and others (including trawl impact marks). The developed software prototype, named IT-IPIMAR
N. norvegicus (I2N2), is able to provide an objective, detailed and comprehensive analysis to complement manual evaluation,
for lobster and burrow density estimation.