Page last updated at 06:01 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 07:01 UK

'Robofish' could police north Wales harbours

The robofish could be used to detect pollution

Futuristic 'robofish' could be set to police north Wales' harbours.

The first marine sustainability conference in Bangor will hear a shoal of the robots would detect pollution.

Makers believe the robots would be ideal in slow moving water in harbours such as Porthmadog, Gwynedd, and Holyhead on Anglesey.

Organisers, the Bridge Marine Science Group (BMSG), said they hope the event will highlight the importance of marine conservation to a wider audience.

Luke Speller, research scientist and shoal project manager with the BMT Group who developed the fish, said the 'robofish' could be seen in ports and harbours of north Wales in the near future.

Marine environment

"We're planning to launch a shoal of robotic fish off the coast of northern Spain in late 2011 or early 2012 as part of a three-year research project," he said.

"If the project is successful the robotic fish could be used to detect pollution in slow moving water such harbours and ports like Porthmadog and Holyhead," he added.

Jason Priest, the business development manager for BMSG, said the future of the marine environment is something that affects everyone.

He said conservationists, business owners and members of the public should attend.

"We've put together a dynamic and diverse programme which will highlight the incredible wealth of marine expertise we have here in North Wales," he said.

"It will also show how we are helping to overcome some of the current issues which we are confronted with on a daily basis, such as the use of robotic fish to detect marine pollution," he added.

He said the conference would highlight how the conservation of the shoreline and indigenous marine species was crucial.

The event, which takes place from 1000 to 1300 BST at Technium Cast, Menai Business Park, Bangor, will also feature athletics world champion relay team member Kris Akabusi speaking about his charity work, including water and sanitation projects in Africa.

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