Journal Article

<i>In situ</i> acoustic estimates of the swimbladder volume of Atlantic herring (<i>Clupea harengus</i>)

Redwood W. Nero, Charles H. Thompson and J. Michael Jech

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 3, pages 323-337
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
In situ acoustic estimates of the swimbladder volume of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Acoustic measurements at 1.5–5 kHz on fish in the Gulf of Maine showed a swimbladder-resonance peak near 2.5 kHz at 160–190-m depth. Midwater trawls confirmed that the fish were likely to be Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) of 19–29 cm length. Calculation using a model of swimbladder resonance gives swimbladder volumes of 1.2% of fish weight at 160–190 m. Extrapolation of this volume of gas using Boyle's Law suggests that at the sea surface, these herring would need to inflate their swimbladders by up to five to six times the volume required for neutral buoyancy. If these fish were to maintain this volume of gas with surface “gulping”, they would need to submerge from the sea surface with a 30% excess buoyancy. In general, swimbladders of the Clupeidae may have greater volumes of gas than if the fish were neutrally buoyant at the sea surface and the interpretation of HF-echosounder surveys may be additionally complex when the volume of gas and swimbladder volume are difficult to predict. Mechanisms of how herring obtain additional swimbladder gas are discussed.

Keywords: acoustic resonance; Atlantic herring; in situ; swimbladder volume

Journal Article.  6623 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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