Verified acoustic identification of Atlantic mackerel
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Calibrated, digitised data from simultaneously working multi-frequency echo sounders with nearly identical and overlapping acoustic beams have been used to generate new, synthetic echograms where only targets identified as Atlantic mackerel are retained. Echo sounder raw data are processed stepwise in a modular sequence of analysis to improve the ability to categorise acoustic targets. The relative frequency response measured over up to six acoustic frequencies, 18, 38, 70, 120, 200 and 364 kHz, is the main acoustic feature used to characterise acoustic backscatter. Mackerel seems to have a frequency-independent backscatter below approximately 100 kHz, and above approximately 200kHz, but at 4 times higher level of the backscatter. Results from numeric modelling explaining the measured relative frequency response of mackerel are shown. Synthetic echograms containing targets identified acoustically as mackerel are presented and evaluated against trawl catches. Even though catching of the fast-swimming mackerel is difficult, the trawl catches from two Norwegian research vessels confirm that the targets identified acoustically as mackerel is really mackerel.
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