FarSounder is pleased to announce the award of an order from The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), for an advanced fisheries research project. This will be part of TNO's SOFIC (SOnar for FIsh Classification) project, a team effort being carried out between Dutch fishing company Jaczon B.V., from Scheveningen, TNO and FarSounder. The Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality has assigned a scientific quota for this project.

Dutch and European regulations limit the permitted catch of some species of fish and ban entirely the catch of other species. The acoustic recognition of various fish species prior to netting can be a valuable tool for avoiding unintentional catch of protected or regulated species. An example is the distinction between mackerel and horse mackerel, which are very similar species but subject to different quota. Currently available classification tools are, for the most part, installed on echo sounders and are limited by poor resolution. Furthermore, most of the echo sounders are downward looking and therefore require the fishing vessel to maneuver above a fish school prior to a catch to allow identification. New sonars available to the fishing industry have an increased bandwidth and allow more sophisticated processing.

“Where very specific catch quota become more and more important, TNO wants to develop and propose an innovative tool capable of assisting the fish industry, from the fisherman to the deciding authorities, by giving insight on fish schools and shoals” says Benoit Quesson, SOFIC project leader at TNO.

Utilizing FarSounder's advanced wide band 3D sonar systems, coupled with TNO's experience in classification algorithms, will advance the state of the art in fisheries by-catch technology and offer companies such as Jaczon, a new tool for sustainable fishing.

Cheryl M. Zimmerman, President of FarSounder notes, “We believe that this project will be of significant interest to anyone concerned with ocean resource management. This technology can help the fishing industry take another step towards preventing unintentional bycatch.”

About FarSounder:
FarSounder is a US based high technology marine electronics manufacturer specializing in underwater acoustics. With unique patented technology, the Company has a global customer base of commercial, government and private sector users served by over 40 sales and service partners around the world.

About TNO:
TNO is the Netherlands’ largest independent applied research organization, with approximately 4,400 employees, whose expertise and research contributes significantly in several areas to the competitiveness of business, public organizations, the economy and the quality of life as a whole.