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As part of its efforts to monitor bottomfish species in Hawaii, the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) launched the OceanEYEs Citizen Science project on September 15, 2020. Since launch, over 3,500 volunteer citizen scientists have made approximately 430,000 classifications across nearly 60,000 underwater images during the 2019 Bottomfish Fishery-Independent Survey in Hawaii (BFISH). After logging into the OceanEYEs website, volunteers are guided through a short tutorial where they learn about the Bottomfish stock, stock assessment science, as well as the fish species being surveyed. They are taught how to recognize each of the key species and are then presented with underwater images from the survey. They are first asked if they see any fish in the image and, if so, are asked to mark the location of the fish and identify the species by name. Initial results suggest that the information provided by multiple Citizen Scientists can, when combined, rival that provided by professional annotators. The work being done by OceanEYEs volunteers can allow NOAA scientists to look at new ways of counting fish and is being used to develop artificial intelligence solutions, training computers to identify fish and allowing NOAA scientists to deploy human expertise more efficiently. To-date, the work done by OceanEYEs citizen scientists is equivalent to just over one hundred FTE hours.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: Main Hawaiian Islands

Project Status: Active - recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks:

Start Date: 09/15/2020

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Biology

Intended Outcomes: OceanEYEs has three objectives, 1) to increase education and outreach, 2) to create high quality and high volume training data for machine learning algorithms, and 3) to allow scientists to evaluate alternative methods for enumeration of fish targets from video.