Inference of geometrical and behavioural parameters of individual fish from echo-trace-analysis
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The volume scattering strength of swim-bladdered fish is very sensitive to fish size, shape, and orientation. However, the appropriate geometrical and behavioral parameters necessary to determine these parameters are not always available. Inadequate knowledge of these parameters limits our ability to correctly estimate lengths and abundances of fish with acoustic technology. A method for extracting geometrical and behavioral parameters of individual fish using a scattering model-based echo-trace-analysis (ETA) is presented. The scattering model used in the ETA is based on the Kirchhoff approximation and a prolate spheroid is used to approximate the shape of the swimbladder. The geometric shape of a resolved echo from an individual fish is used in a least-squares algorithm to infer information about the swimming speed, direction, and orientation of the fish. The acoustic intensity distribution of an individual fish along a resolved echo trace is used in a least-squares algorithm to infer information about the size, aspect ratio, and orientation of the swimbladder. Results from the ETA were more sensitive to variations in vertical swimming speed and orientation of the swimbladder than to variations in horizontal swimming speed and aspect ratio of the swimbladder. The proposed ETA was applied to field data, a 38 kHz echogram of a school of Atlantic cod recorded with a Simrad EK500 echo sounder. The inferred sizes and orientations of a number of the resolved echo traces for individual fish were consistent with available observation data. One of the advantages of the ETA method presented here is that it can be easily extended to a dual beam, a split-beam, or a multi-beam acoustic system. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.