3D Sonar for Pelagic Fisheries Research

FarSounder‘s 3D sonar technology will be part of a project to increase sustainability and benefit the commercial fishing industry. The objective is to assess pelagic fish species such as menhaden and herring.

The technology currently used in many fishery surveys is suitable for sampling bottom-dwelling species but not accurately assessing pelagic species. 

In Rhode Island, pelagic fish, like the Atlantic menhaden and herring, are commercially important in supporting a large fishing industry, yet the management of pelagic fish is difficult due to the lack of reliable and adequate data.

The goal of this project is to develop a methodology to detect fish in the sonar imagery, calculate the biomass pelagic fish present, classify the species and, finally, automate this process.

FarSounder’s 3D sonar will allow the researchers to detect and assess the fish in the sonar imagery as part of the fisheries project. Using coordinated ground-truthing methods, it is expected that the results from the project will help improve current food web models and local Rhode Island fisheries management.

For this project, FarSounder is collaborating with the University of Rhode Island (URI) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

Using technology like FarSounder’s forward-looking sonar systems to estimate pelagic fish biomass and identify species will ultimately lead to better fisheries management and aid in reducing bycatch. This will help the fishing industry save time and money and enhance the sustainability of the oceans.

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