Kloser, R. J., Ryan, T. E., Young, J. W., and Lewis, M. E. 2009. Acoustic observations of micronekton fish on the scale of an ocean basin: potential and challenges. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66: 9981006.Acoustic methods of characterizing micronekton communities (2 to 20 cm length) on the scale of an ocean basin could provide valuable inputs to ecosystem-based fishery management, marine planning, and monitoring the effects of climate change. The micronekton fish are important forage for top predators (e.g. tunas), and information on their diversity, distribution, size-structure, and abundance is needed to increase accuracy of top-predator distribution and abundance predictions. At the scale of an ocean basin, four years of Tasman Sea transects using a fishing vessel provide fine-scale maps of acoustic backscatter at 38 kHz that reveal detailed spatial patterns and structure to depths of 1200 m. Research-vessel data provide detailed biodiversity, density, size structure, and acoustic-scattering information from depth-stratified net sampling and a lowered acoustic probe. Wet-weight biomass estimates of the micronekton fish in the region vary considerably by a factor of 558 between acoustics (1629 g m2), nets (1.6 g m2), and large spatial-scale, ecological models (0.53 g m2). We demonstrate the potential and challenges of an acoustic basin-scale, fishing-vessel monitoring programme, including optical and net sensing, which could assist in characterizing the biodiversity, distribution, and biomass of the micronekton fish.
ICES Journal of Marine Science – Oxford University Press
Published: Jul 8, 2009
Keywords: Keywords acoustics ecosystem models micronekton ocean basin
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