In 2022, MIT Sea Grant will focus our funding resources on the following four specific areas of marine research:
1. Offshore aquaculture: The focus is on novel technologies to enable offshore installation and operation. We particularly encourage submissions within three topic areas:
- “Intelligent nets” capable of sensing changing environmental parameters, controlling water flow, and monitoring fish movements for monitoring at-sea conditions, infrastructure, and operations.
- Autonomy for surface and underwater craft for inspection and maintenance of offshore farms – autonomy algorithms should be open, extensible, and applicable to a wide variety of platforms and missions
- Very low power physical, chemical, or biological sensors for farm monitoring
2. Ocean acidification: The focus is on ocean monitoring using physics-based data inference, fusing diverse sources of data with a focus on, but not limited to, computer monitoring systems for Boston Harbor or the Gulf of Maine. Data from drifters, buoys, and satellite sources are all of interest.
3. Technology for observation and underwater manipulation: Focusing particularly on shallow water applications, this area builds on past topics in underwater re-charging, wireless power transmission, and data communication. Principal obstacles in underwater monitoring and manipulation include:
- Re-charging rapidly and effectively; re-charging using renewable energy devices
- Transferring data reliably at high rates
- Equipping underwater and surface vehicles with manipulation capabilities targeting aquaculture applications
4. Machine learning for fisheries management: Monitoring and assessment of fisheries resources is a timely, costly, and resource intensive process. Advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning for computer assisted image recognition, quantification, and real-time monitoring of target species is a need expressed by a variety of stakeholders, including local, state, and federal resource managers, industry participants, and local communities. Research that supports and/or leads to the development of user-friendly systems for commercial, recreational, and species of concern to assist in monitoring and assessments would support the MIT Sea Grant Focus Area, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture. This technology can be applied to both wild and aquaculture fisheries.