Acoustics applied to knowledge of the pelagic fishery resources

Improved discrimination of non-target species, maximising fishery efficiency

AZTI uses acoustic technology to obtain a better understanding of the composition, behaviour and abundance of pelagic animal aggregations.

More specifically, it studies the behaviour of species to:

  • Obtain increased acoustic discrimination of insonified species.
  • Understand the resource better (dynamics, biomass, etc.).

Acoustic technology enables the discrimination of non-target species, avoiding time loss, fuel consumption and facilitating more sustainable fishing.

Advantages

  • For the Fisheries Sector:
    • Contributes to the discrimination of non-target species, avoiding time loss, fuel consumption and facilitating more sustainable fishing.
    • Information on behaviour (dynamics of target species) for increased fisheries efficiency and reduced fuel consumption.
  • For the Scientific Community:
    • Better understanding of the species for its conservation.
    • Study of the potential adverse effects for fishing (ecological trap,…) and design mitigation measures for these adverse effects.

Applicable sectors

  • Fisheries Sector.
  • Scientific Community.
  • Public administrations and official bodies that seek to avoid the fishing of non-target species in the purse-seine tropical tuna fleet.
  • NGOs and conservation foundations (ISSF).

AZTI has over 10 years’ experience in the research of species associated with fish aggregating devices using acoustic techniques and marking.

Experience

  • Over 10 years’ experience in the research of species associated with fish aggregating devices using acoustic techniques and tagging.
  • 10 years of acoustic campaigns, researching the behaviour, ecology and abundance of anchovy in the Bay of Biscay
  • Multi-disciplinary work team specialised in fisheries technology, eco-ethology of species of interest and underwater acoustics.
  • Members of expert committees in acoustics (ICES acoustics working group) and members of the ISSF by-catch scientific committee.
  • Specific technologies available:
    • Simrad 38, 120 and 200 kHz. scientific sounders
    • Acoustic tags and listening stations.
    • Environmental satellite maps (altimetry, temperature, chlorophyll…).
    • In-house technology based on image analysis to analyse behaviour, spatial distribution and abundance of pelagic species using sonar data.
    • Development of shields to differentiate fish, crustaceans and other types of plankton based on acoustic data of various frequencies.
    • Pioneers in the interpretation and processing of nocturnal acoustic data.

Proven track record

  • Juvena Campaigns: study of the ecology and dynamics of young anchovy in the Bay of Biscay (Boyra et al. 2013)
  • Publication on relationships between albacore and its prey in the Bay of Biscay (Lezama-Ochoa et al. 2010)
  • Doctoral thesis on the acoustic study of macro-zooplankton in the Bay of Biscay: spatial distribution, environmental interaction and impact. (Lezama-Ochoa, 2012).
  • FADIO Project: study of instrumented FADs (floating objects), as observatories of pelagic resources.
  • FEP SELECTUN Project: Use of empirical knowledge of fishers and their echo-sounder buoys to understand tuna behaviour.
  • MADE Project: PhD thesis on obtaining tuna abundance indexes and behaviour as assessed by fisher’s echo-sounder buoys
  • Two scientific publications (Lopez et al. 2014 In press) on the use of fisher’s echo-sounder buoys to improve tuna biomass estimates.