Journal Article

3D visualization for pelagic fisheries research and assessment

Larry Mayer, Yanchao Li and Gary Melvin

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 59, issue 1, pages 216-225
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
3D visualization for pelagic fisheries research and assessment

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  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Traditional acoustic approaches to the estimation of fish biomass have relied upon single-beam echo sounders that sample a relatively small volume of the water column within the survey area. Mean transect values, after bottom removal, are extrapolated to provide an estimate of number or biomass within a survey area. Over the past 20 years, many multibeam sonars have been developed but these systems which are commonly employed to collect detailed bathymetric and seafloor-type data, have been designed to remove mid-water returns. Only recently has a multibeam sonar been developed that allows for continuous digital recording of mid-water returns. For fisheries acoustics, the movement from single-beam to multibeam surveys provides a mechanism to greatly enhance the area and volume of coverage. The large volume of data generated by these systems, however, presents serious challenges for analysis and interpretation. This paper describes initial studies related to the transition from single to multibeam applications including the types of equipment investigated, the limitations of several acoustic systems examined, and how geomatics and 3D visualization can be used to enhance our knowledge of pelagic fish schools. Early results indicate that multibeam sonars, in conjunction with 3D visualization software can be powerful tools for assessing fish stocks, investigating fish school behavior, for exploring habitat preferences and for addressing questions related to vessel avoidance. As the technology improves so will the capability to investigate and to incorporate additional multi-parameter data such as water column properties and bottom type and as calibration techniques are developed for multibeam sonars estimates of biomass may also be possible.

Keywords: fish school dynamics; hydroacoustics; multibeam sonar; 3D visualization

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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