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Iwamoto, S, Checkley DM, Trivedi MM.  2001.  REFLICS: Real-time flow imaging and classification system. Machine Vision and Applications. 13:1-13.   10.1007/pl00013270   AbstractWebsite

An accurate analysis of a large dynamic system like our oceans requires spatially fine and temporally matched data collection methods. Current methods to estimate fish stock size from pelagic (marine) fish egg abundance by using ships to take point samples of fish eggs have large margins of error due to spatial and temporal undersampling. The real-time flow imaging and classification system (REFLICS) enhances fish egg sampling by obtaining continuous, accurate information on fish egg abundance as the ship cruises along in the area of interest. REFLICS images the dynamic flow with a progressive-scan area camera (60 frames/s) and a synchronized strobe in backlighting configuration. Digitization and processing occur on a dual-processor Pentium II PC and a pipeline-based image-processing board. REFLICS uses a segmentation algorithm to locate fish-egg-like objects in the image and then a classifier to determine fish egg, species, and development stage (age). We present an integrated system design of REFLICS and performance results. REFLICS can perform in real time (60 Hz), classify fish eggs with low false negative rates on real data collected from a cruise, and work in harsh conditions aboard ships at sea. REFLICS enables cost-effective, real-time assessment of pelagic fish eggs for research and management.

Checkley Jr., DM, Ortner PB, Werner FE, Settle LR, Cummings SR.  1999.  Spawning habitat of the Atlantic menhaden in Onslow Bay, North Carolina. Fisheries Oceanography. 8:22-36.: Blackwell Science Ltd   10.1046/j.1365-2419.1999.00019.x   AbstractWebsite

The Continuous, Underway Fish Egg Sampler (CUFES) was used to sample pelagic eggs of the Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) from 3-m depth off North Carolina in winter 1993–94 and 1994–95. Simultaneous measurements were made of temperature, salinity, and the concentration of chlorophyll a. The maximal concentration of eggs was 346 eggs m−3. Eggs were highly aggregated in patches which occurred between the Gulf Stream and mid-shelf fronts (17–23°C, 36.0–36.4‰). Unexpectedly, eggs were found almost exclusively in water of 20–60 m (mode 20 m) bottom depth. Thus, spawning appears related to bathymetry as well as hydrography. Variograms for egg concentration indicated a mean (± SE) patch scale of 3.6 ± 1.7 km and a high degree of spatial variance explained by CUFES sampling. Lagrangian modelling of particles moving in response to tides, winds, and a prescribed flow from the north indicated that the region of observed, maximal occurrence of eggs is favourable for the retention of eggs and larvae on the shelf adjacent to inlets used to enter nursery areas.

Van der Lingen, CD, Checkley D, Barange M, Hutchings L, Osgood K.  1998.  Assessing the abundance and distribution of eggs of sardine, Sardinops sagax, and round herring, Etrumeus whiteheadi, on the western Agulhas Bank, South Africa, using a continuous, underway fish egg sampler. Fisheries Oceanography. 7:35-47. AbstractWebsite

A continuous, underway fish egg sampler (CUFES) was employed to assess the abundance and distribution of eggs of both sardine, Sardinops sagax, and round herring, Etrumeus whiteheadi, on the Western Agulhas Bank, South Africa, during September 1996. Samples were collected while underway along six inshore/offshore transects, and at stations along the transects. Volumetric estimates of egg density (eggs m(-3)) from on-station CUFES samples were highly correlated with both volumetric and areal (eggs m(-2)) estimates of egg density from samples collected from CalVET net hauls at these stations, demonstrating the validity of this novel sampling technique. Sardine and round herring eggs were encountered in a band running parallel to the coast and extending from 10 to 33 nautical miles offshore to the shelf edge, and highest egg densities were associated with strong north-west-flowing currents in the region of the shelf edge. Collecting samples while underway increased the precision of the estimate of mean egg density for sardine eggs but not for round herring eggs. The use of CUFES in obtaining a fine-scale resolution of sardine egg distribution, and as a tool for stock assessment, are discussed.