School of tarakihi, Kapiti Island Marine Reserve
Image: M. P. Francis | ©


We need your help to monitor our marine reserves by analysing underwater footage of fishes.

About Spyfish Aotearoa

Spyfish Aotearoa is a newly launched collaboration between DOC and Wildlife.AI, a charitable organisation applying artificial intelligence to conservation. The team deploys baited underwater cameras in marine reserves all over Aotearoa New Zealand to monitor the abundance and diversity of marine life. The underwater videos are hosted online for citizen scientists to identify and count the fish species present in the footage.

This project is also being used to train artificial intelligence software. In the future, the software will automatically process the footage and reduce the need for citizen scientists to manually classify the information.

Combining citizen scientists and machine learning will save a huge amount of time and resources. The results will be available almost immediately and used to greatly improve marine conservation outcomes for the future.

How to get involved

Help us identify and count the species of fish recorded by the cameras. Your classifications will be used to determine the effectiveness of the reserves, inform marine management and protect our taonga (treasured) species.

There are three possible projects to get involved with. We recommend starting with identifying and counting species in 10-second video clips, you can choose either:

  • Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve (Gisborne)
  • Kāpiti Marine Reserve (Wellington).

Once you are familiar with the species, you can try the fish detection photos task, where you draw boxes around blue cod, snapper and scarlet wrasse in still frames taken from the underwater videos.

Join the project here

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