The general objective of the project is to demonstrate a system that will provide an ability to observe in three-dimensions and analyse fish schools types, behaviour and distribution, in resolution and details that enhance fisheries acoustics.
In order to reach this objective the existing multi-beam sonar technology could be applied to fisheries acoustics. Multibeam sonars have not been designed specifically for biological observations but for bottom visualization and bathymetry or fish school tracking (fishing). Thus the project objective is the design and evaluation of an innovative tool for providing 3D images and numerical data on pelagic school structure based on multibeam sonar, in order to provide data to stock assessment purposes.
Three main fields of research are defined.
1. Technical research.
- enhancement of the usual multibeam sonar system for biological purposes.
- simulation of sonar and operational parameters in order to optimise the relationship between image acquisition and biological goals.
- design of a software for visualisation and analysis aimed to extract the main characteristics of the spatial structures.
2. Methodological research.
- validation of the data collected through an appropriate calibration. A procedure for acoustic calibration of multibeam sonar will be developed and tested.
- inter calibration between sonar and echo sounder. The comparison between these two tools will allow the evaluation of the validity of sonar acoustic measurements in non-vertical directions.
3. Biological research.
- application on several kinds of populations (northern herring, Mediterranean Clupeids). Selection of the main relevant parameters extracted from the images.
- attempts to classify the schools according to data extracted from the images.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
AB11 9DB Aberdeen