Fish are indicative species with a relatively balanced ecosystem. Underwater target fish detection is of great significance to fishery resource investigations. Traditional investigation methods cannot meet the increasing requirements of environmental protection and investigation, and the existing target detection technology has few studies on the dynamic identification of underwater fish and small targets. To reduce environmental disturbances and solve the problems of many fish, dense, mutual occlusion and difficult detection of small targets, an improved CME-YOLOv5 network is proposed to detect fish in dense groups and small targets. First, the coordinate attention (CA) mechanism and cross-stage partial networks with 3 convolutions (C3) structure are fused into the C3CA module to replace the C3 module of the backbone in you only look once (YOLOv5) to improve the extraction of target feature information and detection accuracy. Second, the three detection layers are expanded to four, which enhances the model’s ability to capture information in different dimensions and improves detection performance. Finally, the efficient intersection over union (EIOU
) loss function is used instead of the generalized intersection over union (GIOU) loss function to optimize the convergence rate and location accuracy. Based on the actual image data and a small number of datasets obtained online, the experimental results showed that the mean average precision ([email protected]
) of the proposed algorithm reached 94.9%, which is 4.4 percentage points higher than that of the YOLOv5 algorithm, and the number of fish and small target detection performances was 24.6% higher. The results show that our proposed algorithm exhibits good detection performance when applied to densely spaced fish and small targets and can be used as an alternative or supplemental method for fishery resource investigation.
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