In collaboration with ocean ecologists of the Stony Brook University in New York and HiDef Aerial Surveying Ltd from the UK, BioConsult SH has created a semi-automated process for whale detection from very high-resolution satellite images using deep learning artificial intelligence.
The algorithm was trained to classify whether a tile image was likely to contain a whale. The best model correctly classified 100 % of tiles with whales, and 95 % of tiles containing only water.
While the relatively poor resolution of commercially available satellite images continues to make whale identification a challenging problem, our approach provides the means to efficiently eliminate areas without whales and, in doing so, greatly accelerates whale surveys.
Please refer to our project site for further information.