Thank you FISHstory Volunteers! All of the FISHstory photos in Zooniverse have been classified.

The next steps for our team are to validate and analyze the data you collected. Stay tuned for results. 



Travel back to the docks of Daytona Beach, Florida from the 1940's to 70's through the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (SAFMC) pilot project FISHstory (pronounced like history). Retired commercial and recreational fishing captain, Rusty Hudson, has provided over 1,300 photos that detail not only fishing but family history. This set of black and white and color photos are a time capsule of days spent on the water. The range of fish species found in the photos is wide and differs depending on the fishing techniques and locations.

FISHstory used historic dock photos to document species and length composition data in the charter and headboat fisheries prior to when dedicated catch monitoring began in the 1970s. These photos, an untapped source of biological data, will help fill this important data gap in for-hire South Atlantic fisheries. The data collected will help us explore if there were changes in overall catches or seasonality of catches, as well as, investigate if there were changes in the size of fish caught over time.  Information gathered will help us build a more complete picture of the for-hire fisheries in this historic time period which can help us better understand the health of fish stocks today.



You can still check out FISHstory on Zooniverse HERE 




"The SAFMC Citizen Science FISHstory effort to crowd source with our family's professional pictures  was a welcome development. The Stone, and Timmons families are encouraged by the FISHstory efforts to gain useful knowledge from these photographs ... ."
-Rusty Hudson


The Power of the Crowd

Because of the number of photos to be analyzed in this project, the Council has turned to crowdsourcing to gather data. This method will rely on the public (e.g. citizen scientists) to help identify and count fish in the photos. To accomplish this, the SAFMC is working with Zooniverse, an online crowdsourcing platform. FISHstory incorporates a task or "workflow" that allows citizen scientist to identify fish, count anglers, and mark any obstructed fish in the photos.

Not a fish Expert?

Not a problem! We have created specific training materials in collaboration with scientists and fisherman in the South Atlantic to help you make your best educated guess. And all of your guesses will help! Feel free to communicate with other citizen scientists in the Talk boards to learn and share tips for identification or ask for our help.

Stay Tuned! 

Stay tuned in to the FISHstory project and SAFMC Facebook page to see FISHstory updates!

What is Zooniverse? 

Zooniverse is a crowdsourcing platform that includes a project builder to construct and manage citizen science projects. Citizen scientists from across the globe help contribute to data collection for projects ranging from finding formations in space to trail cameras in Africa.

Click the logo below to start exploring!




Once you have navigated to the Zooniverse website click the "Register" button in the top right-hand corner. Once you have entered your information click "Register" and you can start classifying for projects like FISHstory!

Need any help with this process? Contact Julia Byrd

 Length Composition

In addition to using crowdsourcing to document for-hire catch composition, FISHstory is developing a method to document length compositions from the historic photos. Fish lengths are being measured using the lumber in the leaderboards as a scale through the open source software, Image J. The methods developed have been presented to the SAFMC's SSC and are being pilot tested on King Mackerel.

The People Behind the Pictures 

FISHstory involves photos from for-hire fishing fleets. Groups of customers would pay to enjoy a half or full day fishing trip aboard one of the fleet's vessels. FISHstory currently uses photos from two main families: the Stones and the Timmons. The main captains seen within the photos are Jake Stone, Bob Stone, and Frank Timmons.

Vessels Built for Fishing 

Along with the captains, FISHstory shows photos from several different vessels. While they differed in size and style, they all carried many people during their lifespan. Some of the vessels include, The Broadbill, The Miss Juanita, and The Mako.


For a complete list of captains and vessels including pictures and bios, visit the FISHstory project on Zooniverse.

FISHstory In the Classroom 

Are you a teacher interested in bringing FISHstory into your classroom? below are links to some educational materials we think will help engage students.

FISHstory Field Guide

FISHstory Lesson Plan 

We are available to do live, interactive demos of the project and answer any questions students have. Reach out to Julia Byrd in the Contact Us tab to learn more.

Drop Us a Line

We want to hear from you! Contact us directly via email:

Julia Byrd (SAFMC Citizen Science Program Manager)

You can also interact with our project team and other citizen scientists through the FISHstory Talk Section.

Funding for FISHstory is provided by a NOAA Fisheries' Fisheries Information Systems Program grant.