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Novel Acoustic Techniques for Assessing Fish Schooling in the Context of an Operational Ocean Observatory

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LONG-TERM GOALS. Fish aggregation is important in terms of biology, fisheries, and measurement, quantitative analyses of gregarious movement behaviors remain relatively rare Turchin 1989. Fish aggregation has most often been studied in easily accessed fish or fish easily maintained in the laboratory such as minnows and dace see a review in Pitcher and Parrish 1993. Measurements of fish aggregations are often difficult, particularly in pelagic environments. Our goal is to develop new acoustic techniques that have the potential to serve as measurement tools to quantify this ubiquitous and important behavior. OBJECTIVES. This project brings together a team with expertise in acoustics, engineering, biology, fisheries, and oceanography to develop and apply acoustic techniques to measure schooling in pelagic fish. We combined traditional, split-beam fisheries echosounding techniques and direct sampling with new acoustic techniques and new platforms in a study area monitored by an existing operational ocean observatory. To measure synoptic distributions of fish schools we collected mid-frequency back- and bistatic-scattering from fish using a unique horizontally oriented multibeam system. We will experimentally evaluate the use of ship-board and moored mid-frequency sonar for the detection and resolution of fish schools at long range kilometer scale in the context of propagation and scattering in a shallow water waveguide. Toward the goal of integrating mid to geometric frequency scattering measurements, we will observe the relationship of high frequency echosounder and multibeam measurements to mid-frequency short-range measurements direct path scattering and mid-frequency long-range measurements waveguide scattering. In doing so, we will correlate the results of the longer-range measurement less understood and more complex scattering geometries with more traditional better understood higher frequency and geometric scattering regimes and techniques.

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  • Biology
  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Acoustics

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