De La Salle University develops mobile app to help crab fishers

De La Salle crab app
Crabifier is designed to help fisherfolk track the marketable giant mangrove crab. Credits to DLSU via Google Playstore.

A De La Salle University (DLSU) multidisciplinary team has developed a mobile application to help fisherfolk distinguish crab species.

The mobile application dubbed the Crabifier is developed by DLSU’s Center for Environment and Natural Science Research in collaboration with College of Computer Studies.

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The mobile application is designed to aid fisherfolk in correctly picking the market-preferred giant mangrove crab, the serrata, according to the LaSallian report written by Erinne Ong about the Crabifier launch in July.

Crabifier is an application that uses the smartphone camera to classify the mud crab species (serrata, tranquebarica, olivacea). The mobile app can measure and distinguish among the three similar-looking crab species at their juvenile stage. As crablets, the three species are difficult to differentiate.

Crabifier was developed by a multidisciplinary team from the De La Salle University‘s Technologies for Biodiversity Use and Conservation Unit’s Practical Genomics Laboratory, which is headed by Dr. Ma. Carmen Lagman from the College of Science, Biology Department faculty Dr. Chona Abeledo, and Professor Courtney Ngo from the Software Technology Department of the College of Computer Studies.

The LaSallian reports how Dr. Abeledo credited fishermen for the idea to create the project, “Bakit niyo prinoproblema yung malaki? Mas malaking problema yung mga maliit…Diyan kami nalulugi (Why are you concerned over the mature ones? The young are a bigger problem, causing us to incur losses.)”

Dr. Abeledo also noted how “matching molecular genomics or DNA markers with morphological markers or external features of the crabs enabled ‘finding subtle patterns’ that would set apart one species from the other.” The DLSU professor also said that the frontal lobe or crown of the crab is the key difference among the crab speicies. She then enlisted the help of Professor Ngo to create the application using the image analysis.

Dr, Ngo said the Crabifier’s convoluted neural network model was also retrained to adjust to how the lighting on-site differed from the conditions in the laboratory. The latest iteration of Crabifier uses 10 measurement ratios of the crabs’ physical characteristics for identifying the species.

Crabifier is available for download on Google Playstore.

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SEND congratulations in the comments below for the De La Salle University team, innovating to help the country’s fisherfolk!

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