Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Automated detection of fish movements from live and recorded video

The development and application of existing and novel methods for quantitative recording of fish behaviour was an important part of the project. New computer software was developed for recording and quantifying fish activity. The program has been designed as a motion detector that can score movements in a number of user-defined areas of a video image (allows the program to be used to log activity simultaneously in four tanks, or to record time spent by fish in up to four regions or habitats) and record all those frames of a video stream where movement is detected in an AVI file for later verification and/or analysis.

In addition, it produces a text file containing a date- and time-stamped log of activity, with one record for every recorded video frame. Areas of the video image can be masked by defining up to 100 mask zones, in order to exclude reflections from the water surface that may falsely trigger the detection software. The application can also be used as a time lapse digital video recorder.

MotionGrab is used in conjunction with another program MotionRead to replay recorded AVI files at variable speed, forward or reverse, as well as frame by frame, with the detection zones overlaid. The detection log can also be displayed. Other simple utilities have been added to analyse the data generated by MotionGrab and recorded in log files. MotionRead is also an event logger for analysing video files recorded by MotionGrab and other video files, enabling easier scoring and logging of behaviour data.

Reported by

Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory
United Kingdom
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