Description of the ICES HAC Standard Data Exchange Format, Version 1.60
The HAC standard format for the exchange of fisheries acoustics raw and edited data was adopted by the ICES-Fisheries Acoustics Science and Technology Working Group (WGFAST) in 1999. Since 2000, the ICES HAC Planning Group (PGHAC) has overseen modifications and additions to the format so that it would evolve to meet the needs of the international fisheries acoustics community. The present report is based on the original adopted version and consolidates into one document the various additions, modification, corrections and clarifications which have been vetted and accepted by the PGHAC in the intervening years and published in the ICES Annual Reports of the Planning Group on the HAC data exchange format. Through the work of the PGHAC, many improvements have been made to the format, including the correction of errors and imprecisions in previously described tuples, the clarification of rules and definitions for tuple syntax, for allocating tuple numbers and for software compliance and compatibility, the addition of new tuples containing information for a new generation of echosounders, for additional auxiliary sensors and for the complete series of generic tuples for data exchange. The work of the PGHAC and the evolution of the HAC standard format will continue after the publication of this document and future modifications will continue to be published in the HAC Planning Group Annual Reports.