Video capture of crustacean fisheries data as an alternative to on-board observers

Natalie Hold*, Lee G. Murray, Julia R. Pantin, Jodie A. Haig, Hilmar Hinz, Michel J. Kaiser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


For EU member states to meet the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, it will be necessary to improve data collection related to many fisheries that are at present subject to relatively little monitoring or scientific research. This study evaluated the use of on-board camera systems to collect data from Cancer pagurus and Homarus gammarus fisheries. We evaluated the reliability of the hardware and its ability to collect images of sufficient accuracy and precision compared with using on-board observers. Fishers and on-board observers passed animals removed from traps across a defined area. The relationship between the in situ and predicted measurements of carapace length of lobsters or carapace width (CW) of crabs was investigated. The mean difference between the predicted and real crab measurements was -0.853 mm with a standard error of 0.378 mm. Suggesting that the model tends to underestimate the real CW slightly. The mean difference between predicted and real data for lobsters was 0.085 mm with a standard error of 0.208 mm. Sex allocation for crabs based on video images was 100% accurate. All male lobsters were correctly assigned. For lobsters >86 mm in length, the correct female sex allocation was 100% accurate. For smaller lobsters, the accuracy of sex allocation decreased to a low of 51% in lobsters <70 mm. Camera systems were found to be a suitable method for collecting data on the size and sex of crabs and lobsters. The error attributable to using video data rather than manual measurement was less than 3 mm, which is sufficient to detect growth increments in these species. The requirements to collect basic species data are increasing and the ability to do so without on-board observers will reduce the cost implications of these requirements. Future computer automation of image extraction and measurements will increase the application of video systems for data collection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1811-1821
Number of pages11
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • crabs
  • fishery-dependent data
  • image analysis
  • lobsters
  • Marine Strategy Framework Directive
  • self-sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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