Designing an Ocean Mid-trophic Automatic Acoustic Sampler (MAAS) - thoughts on how to include echo sounder observatories in ecosystem models
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Echo sounders are a widely used tool for observing marine ecosystems. Traditionally, carefully designed surveys are used to integrate biomass to a global estimate, which is coupled to traditional stock assessment models. More recently, the focus has shifted from single species assessment to an ecosystem approach, taking into account ecosystem function and dynamics. As a response, several coupled ecosystem models have been developed. The data requirements for these models are different than for the traditional models, and new sensors and platforms have been developed as a response to this need. However, examples on how to integrate these observations with these new models are scarce. We present an overview of ongoing work trying to use acoustic data from autonomous platforms. The work is a pre-requisite for designing an ocean mid-trophic automatic acoustic sampler.