Thu, 07 Jul 2022

AI helps fight illegal fishing along Yangtze River

Xinhua
17 May 2022, 14:55 GMT+10

© Provided by Xinhua

NANCHANG, May 17 (Xinhua) -- An artificial intelligence (AI) technology system has been applied along the Yangtze River as a supplementary method to combat illegal activities in water areas under a 10-year fishing ban.

Installed by the Jiujiang branch of China Tower Corporation Limited, the AI warning system was officially put into use in April. It can detect illegal fishing activities in milliseconds along a 152-km riverbank of the Yangtze River in Jiujiang city, east China's Jiangxi Province.

Videos are captured by 37 high-definition surveillance cameras and analyzed with advanced technologies such as big data and edge computing to help improve the efficiency of fishery administration.

To further preserve the biodiversity of the Yangtze River, China began a 10-year fishing moratorium from the beginning of 2020 in 332 conservation areas in the Yangtze River basin. The ban was later expanded to all the natural waterways of the river and its major tributaries.

However, the lack of adequate law enforcement officials and vehicles was once a major obstacle to the supervision of illegal fishing.

"Earlier, we mainly relied on reports and patrolling to monitor illegal fishing, but that had led to two issues. On the one hand, it was difficult to investigate and collect proof, while on the other hand, we're always understaffed," said Zhou Jie, who is in charge of fishery administration in Jiujiang.

The AI system can detect motion anomalies in cameras and deliver warnings to an accompanying app in real time, alerting patrolling personnel so they can respond promptly, Zhou said.

"The AI-powered system has made monitoring much more targeted and efficient now," Zhou added.

In less than a month, the system has identified 28 illegal fishing activities.

Similar systems have also been deployed in many other provincial-level regions along the Yangtze River such as Chongqing and Anhui.

"We look forward to the application of more advanced technologies to ensure proper implementation of the 10-year fishing ban so that the Yangtze River will always be a paradise for aquatic life," Zhou said.

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