MEPS 442:285-301 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09425

REVIEW
Underwater acoustics for ecosystem-based management: state of the science and proposals for ecosystem indicators

Verena M. Trenkel1,*, Patrick H. Ressler2, Mike Jech3, Marianna Giannoulaki4, Chris Taylor5

1Ifremer, rue de l’île d’Yeu, BP 21105, 44311 Nantes cedex 3, France
2Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA
3Northeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 166 Water St., Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
4Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Resources, Gournes, PO Box 2214, Iraklion, Greece
5Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, National Ocean Service, NOAA, 101 Pivers Island Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28557, USA

ABSTRACT: Ecosystem-based management (EBM) requires more extensive information than single-species management. Active underwater acoustic methods provide a means of collecting a wealth of ecosystem information with high space–time resolution. Worldwide fisheries institutes and agencies are carrying out regular acoustic surveys covering many marine shelf ecosystems, but these data are underutilized. In addition, more and more acoustic data collected by vessels of opportunity are becoming available. To encourage their use for EBM, we provide a brief introduction to acoustic and complementary data collection methods in the water column, and review current and potential contributions to monitoring population abundance and biomass, spatial distributions, and predator–prey relationships. Further development of acoustics-derived indicators is needed. We review and propose indicators for assessing and monitoring zooplankton, population dynamics of fish and other nekton, and changes in diversity and food-web functioning. Acoustic methods have the potential to make a strong contribution to EBM. Evaluation of new indicators and suitable reference points in different ecosystems are the current challenges.


KEY WORDS: Active acoustics · Indicators · Ecosystem-based management


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Cite this article as: Trenkel VM, Ressler PH, Jech M, Giannoulaki M, Taylor C (2011) Underwater acoustics for ecosystem-based management: state of the science and proposals for ecosystem indicators. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 442:285-301. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps09425

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