The accepted method for assessing fish stocks involves catching samples in a net, hauling them up, and counting. Nearly everyone agrees it's a method with drawbacks. The sample size is necessarily limited, and the most of fish do not survive. But now there may be a better way.
"Counting Fish" a new documentary by Don Cuddy, profiles the work of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, researcher at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in his efforts to improve the way scientists assess fish stocks.
Stokesbury drags a net with an open end, which fish swim through. As the fish pass out of the net, cameras record them. Scientists can then identify fish by their images. This allows for longer tows - as much two hours at a time - and the fish are not killed by the process.