Extinction is sometimes a major problem in acoustic surveys of fish stocks, as it often occurs when the fish are concentrated and easiest to survey. The same may be true of certain macrozooplankton, such as krill in swarms. This study aims to describe how to correct single?ping measurements of the vertical distribution of scatterer density for extinction. The general case is considered in which the aggregation density is variable and the mean backscattering and extinction cross sections vary with depth. By dividing the water column into a finite number of layers, with constant properties within each, a closed?form mean?field solution is derived. Methods of applying this to single?ping echo records and the quality of the solution are both examined. Extinction is discussed vis?à?vis multiple scattering. Application of the technique in other areas, e.g., in remote probing of the atmosphere by lidar, is mentioned.