Technology Spain , Palencia, Monday, May 13 of 2013, 15:51

New software to draw up fish farm inventories

The system will be used to calculate fish population parameters and to export data in various formats

Cristina G. Pedraz/DICYT The Grupo de Ecohidráulica Aplicada (GEA), an applied ecohydraulics team at the Universidad de Valladolid and part of the School of Agricultural Engineering in Palencia (Spain), has developed a software that boosts data processing in fish farm inventories. The program, called DimP 1 (Calculation of population parameters in inland ichthyofauna), can be freely used for management and research on the Group’s website.

As DiCYT was told by Professor Francisco Javier Sanz Ronda, it is a free software that allows to work with fish populations in rivers. “The program enables us to work with sample data, it calculates the fish population that can be in an area of a river and, from these data, it shows us population parameters of captured specimens and technical information such as population growth,” he states.

The chief aim of the project is to standardize the working process with sample data of fish populations in rivers. “Researchers work similarly but with home methods, and this program modernizes this process a little bit, standardizing work with population dynamics”, he explains. Data gathered with the program can be also exported in various formats.

Running the Program

After downloading and running the file, the program opens with a brief presentation. Then, it goes to the menu screen and offers two options for loading data. The first one: loading data and establishing categories to semi-automatically determine age, from a frequency diagram of lengths. The second option: loading data with age categories, to handle data with previously established categories.

After loading data, the program does calculations such as fish population, lengths and weights per category, vulnerability and biomass of the population, growth functions and biometric relationships.

The Team

The GEA is an applied research team associated with the Instituto Tecnológico Agrario y Agroalimentario (an agri-food and agricultural technological institute) and the Universidad de Valladolid. The team was established within the Hydraulics and Hydrology teaching unit at the School of Agricultural Engineering in Palencia in order to use research to reduce environmental impacts of hydraulic structures in rivers (environmental hydraulics). It started to work ten years ago and it currently has eight members (teachers, doctoral students and interns).

After conducting studies on environmental flows (describing minimum downstream water flows in a dam to respect aquatic ecosystems), it has focused on reducing the environmental impact of hydraulic structures. Therefore, it is actively working on issues related to fish migration and the problems they have when they encounter barriers such as hydraulic structures.

The researchers design fish ladders or steps to save them from obstacles, tanks arranged like steps reducing the slope of the dam’s waterfall, enabling the upstream swimming of fish. During the last decade, the research team has grounded a 20% of projects of this nature developed in Spain.