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Study uses lasers to find, identify fish.


James H. Churnside of NOAA's Environmental Research Laboratories is trying to discover if a computer-assisted laser instrument can see fish in a body of water, count them, and identify different species. If his research is successful fishermen might use airborne laser instruments to locate and quantify mature fish for commercial harvest, and immature fish could be identified for management purposes.

Churnside is examining the optical properties of various species, using an argon laser that fires a beam of blue or green light at the fish and records the reflectivity as well as the magnitude and polarization of the light. His theory is that there may be a discernible difference in the optical properties of fish by species and age, and that this could serve as a signature to their identification. The color and texture of a fish's skin would affect the optical properties, the Wave Propagation Laboratory scientist believes. Blue and green laser light passes through water more effectively than other colors and may be able to penetrate deeper into a body of water, reflecting off fish swimming beneath the surface, according to Churnside.

"Biosphere Reserve" Is Dedicated in California

Joseph A. Uravitch, Chief of the NOS Marine and Estuarine Management Division, represented NOAA at the 12 August dedication in San Francisco of the Central California Coast Biosphere Reserve. The West Coast site is the first international biosphere reserve, which encompasses marine, island, coastal, and mainland natural areas. It will provide a valuable link in a 117-country network of such reserves. The California reserve was approved in 1988 by UNESCO.
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Title Annotation:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Research Laboratories
Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
Previous Article:Equal commercial and recreational allocations for Atlantic group Spanish mackerel okayed.
Next Article:Origin of fish taken in sting operation determined.

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