Using Robotics and AI for ecological monitoring in marine protected areas.

An assessment of the technological requirements has been carried out for ecological monitoring, in marine protected areas of a fishery resource relevant to the European Community, the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus THE NAME IN ITALICS!).
We propose that state-of-the-art fixed and mobile equipment, such as robotics platforms (autonomous underwater vehicles, crawlers, and biomimetic legged robots), equipped with innovative sensors and complemented by AI (Figure 1), are the tools to be used to count both Norway lobsters and their burrow systems in situ. Those platforms can also be used to provide key information about animals’ behavior and patterns of borrow occupation and emergence. A protocol of acquisition of multiparametric environmental and biological data (using oceanographic sensors and cameras) has been implemented to complement fishery independent stock assessments practices for this resource, assuming that its pattern of emergence and retraction in the burrows affects catches with traditional trawling methods.
The descriptions of the relevant technological specifications have been published in the international magazine of the ISI (Frontiers in Marine Sciences; In press;