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Keywords:

  • 3D tracking;
  • ethometry;
  • fish tracking;
  • occlusion;
  • schools;
  • video multitracking

Abstract

With the development of digital imaging techniques over the last decade, there are now new opportunities to study complex behavioural patterns in fish (e.g. schooling behaviour) and to track a very large number of individuals. These new technologies and methods provide valuable information to fundamental and applied science disciplines such as ethology, animal sociology, animal psychology, veterinary sciences, animal welfare sciences, statistical physics, pharmacology as well as neuro- and ecotoxicology. This paper presents a review of fish video multitracking techniques. It describes the possibilities of tracking individuals and groups at different scales, but also outlines the advantages and limitations of the detection methods. The problem of occlusions, during which errors of individual identifications are very frequent, is underlined. This paper summarizes different approaches to improving the quality of individual identification, notably by the development of three-dimensional tracking, image analysis and probabilistic applications. Finally, implications for fish research and future directions are presented.