eCite Digital Repository

Acoustic biomass estimation of mesopelagic fish: backscattering from individuals, populations, and communities


Davison, PC and Koslow, JA and Kloser, RJ, Acoustic biomass estimation of mesopelagic fish: backscattering from individuals, populations, and communities, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72, (5) pp. 1413-1424. ISSN 1054-3139 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv023


Acoustic survey methods are useful to estimate the distribution, abundance, and biomass of mesopelagic fish, a key component of open ocean ecosystems. However, mesopelagic fish pose several challenges for acoustic biomass estimation based on their small size, wide depth range, mixed aggregations, and length-dependent acoustic reflectance, which differentiate them from the larger epipelagic and neritic fish for which these methods were developed. Foremost, there is a strong effect of depth on swimbladder resonance, so acoustic surveys of mesopelagic fish must incorporate depth-stratification. Additionally, the 1-3 cm juveniles of many species are not only more abundant, but can also be stronger acoustic backscatterers than the larger adults that comprise most of the biomass. The dominant species in terms of biomass may thus be weak acoustic backscatters. Failure to properly incorporate depth, the full size distribution, and certain less-abundant species into mesopelagic acoustic analyses could lead to errors in estimated biomass of up to three orders of magnitude. Thus, thorough validation, or "ground-truthing ", of the species composition, depth structure, population size distribution, capture efficiency of the sampling device, and acoustic properties of the fish present is critical for credible acoustic estimates of mesopelagic fish biomass. This is not insurmountable, but requires more ancillary data than is usually collected.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:acoustic backscatter, biomass assessment, mesopelagic fish, resonance, swimbladder, target strength
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Kloser, RJ (Dr Rudy Kloser)
ID Code:118895
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:88
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2017-07-21
Last Modified:2017-10-18

Repository Staff Only: item control page