International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST)

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posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by ICESICES

The Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST) focuses on the development and application of science and technology to observe the marine environment. In this report, WGFAST describe their appreciation for David MacLennan, who was a founding member of WGFAST, and who’s pioneering work on several theoretical and practical elements of fisheries acoustics were compiled in the seminal book on Fisheries Acoustics that he co-authored. The report also addresses ‘big data’ as the next frontier in fisheries acoustics; the WGFAST strategy to respond to a request from the Working Group on International Pelagic Surveys (WGIPS) on the acoustic detection of herring; updates from the Topic Group on Collecting Quality Underwater Acoustic Data (TGQUAD) that is writing an ICES Co-operative Research Report in this topic; updates from the Topic Group on Acoustic Metadata (TGMETA) on the development of acoustic metadata guidelines (AcMeta); and progress by the newly formed Working Group on Acoustic Trawl Data Portal Governance (WGAcousticGov) to establish a governance framework for the ICES Acoustic Trawl Data portal. WGFAST identified Dr Toby Jarvis as a new representative on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Liaison Committee linked to ongoing ISO work on underwater acoustics.

This report also summarizes WGFAST considerations of acoustic scattering properties of organisms and open-source acoustic backscatter models; the Sonar-netCDF4 open source data format for acoustic data; open-source software to read, process, and analyse acoustic data; and applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methods to acoustic data.

In relation to “big data” as the next frontier in fisheries acoustics, WGFAST note that many fisheries institutions and agencies now have terabytes of data recorded over decades, and are collecting data at astonishing rates. Efficient discovery, access, processing, and analysis of these data will require open and available data repositories with transparent and efficient ways to discover and access data, data recorded and archived in open formats, and open-source software so that these data can be available to the scientific community beyond fisheries acousticians. Application of advanced methods such as AI and ML will expand the utility of fisheries acoustic data beyond stock assessment to inform conservation and management of ecosystems.


Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee

  • EOSG

Published under the auspices of the following ICES Expert Group or Strategic Initiative



ICES Scientific Reports





Contributors (Editors)

Michael Jech

Contributors (Authors)

Alejandro Ariza; Alex de Robertis; Alireza Rezvanifar; Andone C. Lavery; Anne Lebourges-Dhaussy Aquiles Sepulveda; Arnaud Bertrand; Arthur Blanluet; Ben Scoulding; Benoit Berges; Birkir Bardarson Carlos Robinson; Carrie Wall; Charles Anderson; Christopher Taylor; Ciaran O’Donnell; Daniel Grados Danny Copland; David Demer; David McGowan; Denise McKelvey; Dezhang Chu; Egoitz Burggraaf Elizabeth Phillips; Erin LaBrecque; Fabio Campanella; Fletcher Thompson; Geir Pedersen; Guillermo Boyra; Haris Kunnath; Hassan Moustahfid; Hector Peña; Hjalte Parner; Ilysa Iglesias; Ivar Wangen J. Michael Jech; Jan Buermans; Jeff Condiotty; Jennifer Johnson; Jenni McDermid; Jeremie Habasque John Horne; Jose Rojas; Joseph Warren; Julek Chawarski; Kathryn Gavira O’Neill; Kevin M. Boswell Kjetil Gjeitsund Thorvaldsen; Lars Nonboe Andersen; Laurent Berger; Lawrence Hufnagle; Lilian Lieber; Lucio Calise; Lu Guan; Marian Peña; Mariano Gutierrez Torero; Marissela Pozada; Mathieu Doray; Matthias Schaber; Maxime Geoffroy; Mei Sato; Miles Parsons; Muriel Barbara Dunn; Naig Le Bouffant; Natalia Gorska; Nicolás Algeria Landeros; Nils Olav Handegard; Olavi Kaljuste; Pablo Carrera; Pablo Escobar-Flores; Patrice Brehmer; Patricia Ordoñez; Patrick Schneider; Paul Fernandes Pilar Cordoba; Rebecca Thomas; Richard O’Driscoll; Rika Shiraki; Rokas Kubilius; Rolf Korneliussen Rudy Kloser; Ryan Downie; Salvador Peraltilla Neyra; Sandra Parker-Stetter; Sebastien de Halleux Sigurdur Thor Jónsson; Stephane Gauthier; Stephen Brandt; Steve Pearce; Sophie Fielding; Susan Mærsk Lusseau; Sven Gastauer; Tim Acker; Tim Ryan; Timothy Whitton; Toby Jarvis; Tonny Algroy Tunia Porto Marques; Wu-Jung Lee; Zacharias Kapelonis



Recommended citation

ICES. 2020. Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST). ICES Scientific Reports. 2:70. 18 pp.