Wii technology used to study movements of fish


Editor's Picks

British scientists are planning to use technology similar to those used in wii controllers to monitor the movement of fish.

A team of 17 scientists from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in Suffolk are planning to implant motion detectors into the fish in order to better understand their habits and ultimately to predict fish stocks.

The three-axis accelerometer sensors, which can detect movement in any direction just as in Nintendo Wii remote controls, will be used to learn more about the habits of Atlantic cod and salmon by studying how they move about and measuring their metabolic rate.

Cefas have taken six years to develop this technology at a cost of £559,000. They have already trialled a tag which records every time a fish opens its mouth to ascertain whether the fish is breathing, yawning, coughing or feeding.

By looking at the movement of the fish in three planes, CEFAS will be able to calculate how much energy the fish are expending, which can in turn be used to piece together the feeding, energy expenditure and movement of large predatory fish.

Between 50 -100 tags will be inserted into the body cavity of anaesthetised wild caught fish in an operation which last about two minutes.