The length composition of fish caught can provide valuable information about fish population dynamics. However, it isn't easy to distinguish between different species in one catch, such as Lutjanus malabaricus and Lutjanus timorensis. These types of fish may appear similar at first glance but have differences that become apparent upon closer inspection. Fishermen generally catch this fish in Indonesian waters, and it is not known as the Red Snapper because of its bright red color. They have a higher selling price compared to other snapper species.
These two species look similar but have different life history characteristics. L. malabaricus grows to a maximum length of 95 cm and matures at 50 cm, while L. timorensis grows to 65 cm and matures at 34 cm. If we cannot determine the species, we do not know whether the 40 cm caught was an adult L. timorensis, or a small juvenile L. malabaricus.
Accurately identifying fish species is essential for effective conservation strategies. Traditional taxonomic and identification methods that rely on morphological characteristics and body color can be challenging due to Indonesia's high diversity of fish species. This poses a unique challenge for fisheries scientists to obtain accurate data on these species in catch composition. Even experts need help distinguishing species and fishermen who use various local names.
To overcome this problem, YKAN has been developing an automatic species identification system called Fishface since 2016. YKAN is conducting field research testing Fishface for snapper and tuna fisheries.
Fishface is a technology with Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning built to help fishery managers, fishermen, and scientists identify fish species. Initially, the YKAN Fisheries Program collaborated with REFIND Technologies in developing Fishface and tested the device on 44 fish species with an overall accuracy of 95.2%.
With Fishface 4.0, we are working to improve species identification accuracy and add more features to the app, such as size detection. We tested the device in November 2023 and will continue to enhance Fishface for the next ten years.