Aiming at the common problems, such as noise pollution, low contrast, and color distortion in underwater images, and the characteristics of holothurian recognition, such as morphological ambiguity, high similarity with the background, and coexistence of special ecological scenes, this paper proposes an underwater holothurian target-detection algorithm (FA-CenterNet), based on improved CenterNet and scene feature fusion. First, to reduce the model’s occupancy of embedded device resources, we use EfficientNet-B3 as the backbone network to reduce the model’s Params and FLOPs. At the same time, EfficientNet-B3 increases the depth and width of the model, which improves the accuracy of the model. Then, we design an effective FPT (feature pyramid transformer) combination module to fully focus and mine the information on holothurian ecological scenarios of different scales and spaces (e.g., holothurian spines, reefs, and waterweeds are often present in the same scenario as holothurians). The co-existing scene information can be used as auxiliary features to detect holothurians, which can improve the detection ability of fuzzy and small-sized holothurians. Finally, we add the AFF module to realize the deep fusion of the shallow-detail and high-level semantic features of holothurians. The results show that the method presented in this paper yields better results on the 2020 CURPC underwater target-detection image dataset with an AP50 of 83.43%, Params of 15.90 M, and FLOPs of 25.12 G compared to other methods. In the underwater holothurian-detection task, this method improves the accuracy of detecting holothurians with fuzzy features, a small size, and dense scene. It also achieves a good balance between detection accuracy, Params, and FLOPs, and is suitable for underwater holothurian detection in most situations.
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