Event Title

Testing a new, autonomous, automated, scientific seafloor fish tracking system

Presentation Abstract

An autonomous split beam echosounder was deployed and tested to evaluate its capabilities as an automated fish counting and tracking system. The primary data collection instrument was a programmable, submersible scientific echosounder configured with a 120 kHz split beam transducer. The echosounder was controlled by an onboard computer running recently developed real-time processing software (VisAcq AutoTrack), which can automatically form and record individual target (fish) tracks. VisAcq AutoTrack represents a potential paradigm shift in effort requirement for hydroacoustic fisheries data handling by processing simultaneously during data collection. The system works by detecting, classifying and accepting or rejecting echo returns based on user-selected single echo detection parameters. Fish tracks are automatically formed and logged based on the relative location, spacing, and signal strength of accepted, consecutive echoes. The system tested included an integrated hydroacoustic modem used to transmit reports containing fish track lists from the seafloor to the surface. All instruments were affixed to a seafloor tripod mount and powered by deep cycle batteries. This paper describes a test of this system, wherein a hydroacoustic data set was collected in Puget Sound, Seattle. The data were processed to determine fish density by depth strata, temporal distribution, and total count. Data were processed in real time using VisAcq AutoTrack and the results were transmitted via acoustic modem to the surface. After retrieval of the system, the collected data were post-processed using another commercially available software program. A comparison of results demonstrated VisAcq Autotrack provides comparable, accurate information while eliminating nearly all post processing effort. Overall, the system functioned as a completely autonomous seafloor target tracking system able to collect data and report accurate results to the surface in real time and without the use of a tether cable. SSuch autonomous systems can allow for long-term monitoring of marine biological communities to better understand temporal variability in behaviors such as the seasonal migration patterns of anadromous fishes and or diel vertical migration of forage fishes and other marine organisms.

Session Title

Session S-03F: Tools for Assessment and Implementation

Conference Track

Planning Assessment & Communication

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Testing a new, autonomous, automated, scientific seafloor fish tracking system

Room 6C

An autonomous split beam echosounder was deployed and tested to evaluate its capabilities as an automated fish counting and tracking system. The primary data collection instrument was a programmable, submersible scientific echosounder configured with a 120 kHz split beam transducer. The echosounder was controlled by an onboard computer running recently developed real-time processing software (VisAcq AutoTrack), which can automatically form and record individual target (fish) tracks. VisAcq AutoTrack represents a potential paradigm shift in effort requirement for hydroacoustic fisheries data handling by processing simultaneously during data collection. The system works by detecting, classifying and accepting or rejecting echo returns based on user-selected single echo detection parameters. Fish tracks are automatically formed and logged based on the relative location, spacing, and signal strength of accepted, consecutive echoes. The system tested included an integrated hydroacoustic modem used to transmit reports containing fish track lists from the seafloor to the surface. All instruments were affixed to a seafloor tripod mount and powered by deep cycle batteries. This paper describes a test of this system, wherein a hydroacoustic data set was collected in Puget Sound, Seattle. The data were processed to determine fish density by depth strata, temporal distribution, and total count. Data were processed in real time using VisAcq AutoTrack and the results were transmitted via acoustic modem to the surface. After retrieval of the system, the collected data were post-processed using another commercially available software program. A comparison of results demonstrated VisAcq Autotrack provides comparable, accurate information while eliminating nearly all post processing effort. Overall, the system functioned as a completely autonomous seafloor target tracking system able to collect data and report accurate results to the surface in real time and without the use of a tether cable. SSuch autonomous systems can allow for long-term monitoring of marine biological communities to better understand temporal variability in behaviors such as the seasonal migration patterns of anadromous fishes and or diel vertical migration of forage fishes and other marine organisms.