The sampling volume of trawl and acoustics: estimating availability probabilities from observations of tracked individual fish
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatatic Sciences 66, 2009: 425-438
The effective sampling volume of trawl and acoustics is an important parameter in fish abundance estimation surveys. This paper presents a method to compute the probability of a fish being available to the bottom trawl and the probability of it being seen on the echo sounder, given its initial position relative to the vessel path. These probabilities are then related to the calculation of the effective observational volume for trawl and acoustics, the two main tools of measuring abundance of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus). As an example, the computation is carried out for a typical vertical distribution in the Barents Sea. Our model is based on an Ornstein– Uhlenbeck model for the fish swimming trajectories, and its parameters are estimated using observations of swimming trajectories for individual fish, recorded by a split- eam echo sounder. The model itself constitutes a general method to translate observations on behaviour of individual fish to probability maps. The results indicate a typical fishing height of 20 m for the bottom trawl, but it is also shown that there is a relatively low probability of catching by the trawl what you see on the echo sounder, even for fish positioned directly in the trawl path. This is because of strong lateral movements of the fish.
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