The Blue Planet Aquarium in England will be the test subject for a new fish health monitoring system that its creators hope will revolutionize how public aquariums monitor the health of their fish.
The system is comprised of two digital cameras that are linked to software that scans and monitors the movements of fish in the aquarium. The software has swimming and behavior data of existing fish in the aquarium and will compare that existing data with the live fish in the aquarium. If the software picks up data that is not conducive to that particular species of fish, aquarium staff are alerted instantly and the software gives the fish a health score.
“The monitor uses non-invasive behavioral and physiological measurements to allow researchers and animal carers to accurately diagnose whether a fish is in pain or distress and to intervene accordingly,” said Dr. Lynne Sneddon, an expert on fish pain at the University of Liverpool. Sneddon developed the system over the course of three years and she is currently trialing at Blue Planet Aquarium.
Blue Planet Aquarium is home to more than 4,000 fish species and officials there are excited about the potential for the system.
“This monitor has the potential to revolutionize the care of aquatic life in captive environments worldwide,” said the aquarium’s curator David Wolfenden, “and it will be fascinating to the see the results of its first trial in a public aquarium.”