Georeferenced 3D photogrammetry: a tool for monitoring finfish aquaculture impacts on hard seabeds (FS152)

Aim:

This project will show that high quality photogrammetric models can be generated consistently from image data gathered from remotely operated underwater vehicles, which will support implementation of higher standards of environmental regulation in aquaculture to safeguard marine protected species and habitats.

Funding Amount:

£49,712.54

Duration of Project:

5 Months

Project Summary:

To support sustainable growth in the finfish aquaculture sector, implementation of higher standards of environmental regulation are required to safeguard marine protected species and habitats. Much of this depends on strengthening the evidence base on the environmental effects, and performance, of marine pen fish farms (MPFFs). As the number and sizes of MPFFs increase, the probability of being associated with more diverse seabed types, including hard substrates and priority marine features, becomes greater.

New MPFFs require baseline surveys at the pre-application stage and further surveying precedes any proposed expansion or modification. Hard substrates cannot be grab sampled and quality assessment is only achievable by visual survey but currently regulatory standards for such inspections are lacking. These seabed types are often highly complex making them difficult to sample in, but the technique of 3D photogrammetry provides a potential step-change in how they may be surveyed reliably. Photogrammetry generates 3D computer models from standard imagery and can accurately record underwater features and environments. It is ideal for surveying as the water “disappears” from the models to reveal significant areas of the seabed while providing permanent records.

This project will show that high quality photogrammetric models can be generated consistently from image data gathered from remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs). It will also demonstrate that regulatory standards are achievable using these technologies when combined with advanced georeferencing systems. Used together, these methods could develop seabed models precisely at the exact same locations from which changes over time can be detected and measured accurately.

STATUS: Ongoing

Project Lead

Tritonia Scientific Ltd