Acoustic detection and quantification of benthic egg beds of the squid Loligo opalescens in Monterey Bay, California. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The squid Loligo opalescens is a key species in the nearshore pelagic community of California, supporting the most valuable state marine fishery, yet the stock biomass is unknown. In southern Monterey Bay, extensive beds occur on a flat, sandy bottom, water depths 20-60 m, thus sidescan sonar is a prima-facie candidate for use in rapid, synoptic, and noninvasive surveying. The present study describes development of an acoustic method to detect, identify, and quantify squid egg beds by means of high-frequency sidescan-sonar imagery. Verification of the method has been undertaken with a video camera carried on a remotely operated vehicle. It has been established that sidescan sonar images can be used to predict the presence or absence of squid egg beds. The lower size limit of detectability of an isolated egg bed is about 0.5 m with a 400-kHz sidescan sonar used with a 50-m range when towed at 3 knots. It is possible to estimate the abundance of eggs in a region of interest by computing the cumulative area covered by the egg beds according to the sidescan sonar image. In a selected quadrat one arc second on each side, the estimated number of eggs was 36.5 million.

publication date

  • February 2006