Cornwall IFCA works to gather evidence of fishery activity, particularly in marine protected areas (MPA), and use a number of methods to collect data to investigate the interaction of those fishery activities and the features of MPAs; with the view of minimising the impact of those fishery activities to the environment.
Before coming to applied acoustics, Cornwall IFCA had trialled different products and had limited success with their projects. The software didn’t provide what the team needed and their hardware wasn’t up to scratch. Their work is so important for the environment so the team needed products that can enable them to carry out their work effectively. That’s why they came to applied acoustics.
“As a team we are delighted to be able to work at such an increased level of positional accuracy. It puts us in a position of being able to collect data to the highest standards. We are currently working on a joint project with the University of Exeter using our subsea imaging capabilities and they are of course delighted that we can provide that imagery with such a level of accuracy.”
Colin Trundle, Principal Scientific Officer, Cornwall IFCA
Finding the perfect product
The team had some discussions with colleagues at the University of Exeter who were using an Easytrak Alpha and they were extremely impressed with it. So Cornwall IFCA reached out to applied acoustics to speak to us about upgrading their existing USBL system, and having researched the Easytrak Alpha, Cornwall IFCA acquired the funds to purchase a system.
What is the impact of using an Easytrak Alpha?
Having the Easytrak Alpha means that the team has much more accurate positioning for a range of their survey equipment. In terms of their video/stills surveys, the team can now use the camera position on the video overlay rather than the platform position.
Previously, Cornwall IFCA had considered the position on the overlay as the centre of an area of confidence. Now they can be confident of positioning the camera frame within a very small area of confidence. On their first project using the Alpha, the team were quite surprised at what the difference in platform and frame positioning actually was.
What’s next for Cornwall IFCA?
The team have spoken about using the Easytrak Alpha with their sidescan and towed camera systems, removing the need to estimate layback and it will be used on their micro ROV to improve pilotage and provide accurate positioning of the vehicle
Next time the team are approached for survey work, they can now offer a greater level of positioning accuracy for the data, and are fully expecting more enquiries once word gets out about their new Alpha system!