Skip to main content

Automatic individual non-invasive photo-identification of fish (Sumatra barb Puntigrus tetrazona) using visible patterns on a body


Non-invasive fish identification of individuals can provide new possibilities for the monitoring of fish cultivation, improve and make fish production technologies less demanding for farmers, and increase fish welfare. The aim of this research is to confirm the idea of automatic non-invasive image-based fish identification of individuals using visible features on a fish body and prove the pattern stability during the fish cultivation period. Visible patterns, such as black stripes along the body of a Sumatra barb (Puntigrus tetrazona), were used for machine identification of individual fish. Two experiments were completed: a short-term experiment (43 fish) to show the uniqueness of the stripe patterns for identification, and a long-term experiment (25 fish) to test the stability of patterns during the cultivation period. The overall accuracy of classification was 100% for data collection in one day and 88% between two data collection times. This study shows that visible patterns and image processing methods can be used to automatically identify individual fish of the same species. This is not just limited to Sumatra barb—the concept should work for any fish with unique visible skin patterns, for example, for commercial fish species like Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and European perch (Perca fluviatilis).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Data Availability

Available on request to the corresponding author


Download references

Code availability

Available on request to the corresponding author


The study was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic – project, CENAKVA“(LM2018099) and the CENAKVA Centre Development [No.CZ.1.05/2.1.00/19.0380] and GAJU 013/2019/Z.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dinara Bekkozhayeva.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Handling Editor: Gavin Burnell

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bekkozhayeva, D., Saberioon, M. & Cisar, P. Automatic individual non-invasive photo-identification of fish (Sumatra barb Puntigrus tetrazona) using visible patterns on a body. Aquacult Int 29, 1481–1493 (2021).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: