International Symposium on Fisheries and Plankton Acoustics

This symposium, organised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) will be held at the Aberdeen Conference and Exhibition Center, Aberdeen, Scotland from 12-16 June 1995.

Objectives and Scope

Acoustics has been used extensively for observation and measurement in oceans, lakes, and rivers. Scales of study extend from a few centimetres to hundred of kilometres, and from individual organisms to entire populations of fish or plankton. Acoustics provides a means to obtain continuous observation and assessment of underwater resources. There are many common problems and requirements in the use of underwater acoustics for aquatic studies. This Symposium will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of a wide range of topics relevant to the use of acoustics for the study of fish, shellfish, micro-nekton, and plankton. This will be the fourth in a series of Symposia on acoustics sponsored by ICES, with previous ones being held in Bergen in 1972 and 1982 and in Seattle in 1987.

The 1995 Symposium will review and discuss the developments in technology and understanding of acoustic methods in the aquatic environment. Particular emphasis will be on improvements in techniques, development of technology, assessment of current problems, and identification or future directions for study. Papers reporting ongoing research, as well as those identifying areas for development, are invited on the following themes:

  1. Acoustic survey design and data analysis methods for pelagic and demersal fish stocks and for survey techniques which combine data from different sources. Methods for estimating precision, bias in acoustic surveys, and the effects of spatial or temporal change. The use of ancillary variables such as water temperature, salinity, or plankton distributions in survey design and data analysis. Papers which only report survey results will not be included in plenary sessions, but those dealing with the validation of survey results will be welcomed.

  2. Near-boundary problems. Studies of near-surface and sea bed measurement problems, including investigations of both aquatic organisms and their habitat. Acoustic observation and classification of sea or river bed in relation to biological phenomena. Observation of fish in situations where the interference between echoes from targets and boundaries is important.

  3. Multi-dimensional acoustics, including studies with instrumentation specifically designed for 3D observation and methods that require reconstruction using data from electronic and mechanical scanning systems or sequential observation. Observations on fish schools, and spatial relationships between predators and fish.

  4. Signal classification and identification procedures, including both acoustic observation methods and statistical techniques for classification of targets. Object size and shape characterization from systems. Wide-band or multi-frequency methods particularly for target sizing and species identification.

  5. Biology, including acoustic observation of behaviour, and studies of physiology using acoustics. The effects of sound on fish, including explosive shock waves and infra-sound, studies of fish hearing and the sounds generated by fish.

  6. Target-strength measurement, data collection, methodology, and analysis techniques, and the use of models. Target-strength studies of fish, plankton, and micro-nekton. Target-strength distributions and relationships with target aspect and behaviour.

  7. Validation and comparison of acoustic and other methods of assessment of fish, micro-nekton, and plankton.
Preference will be given to recent innovative research or validation of established methods. Papers on particular topics whether on techniques, technology, methodology, analysis, or results will be included in the same sessions.

Structure and Organization

The Symposium will be organized in consecutive plenary sessions, arranged by defined topics, at which contributed papers will be presented and discussed. Papers will be limited to a maximum of two per author and there will be a maximum of 100 presented papers. In addition a number of poster sessions will be organized for contributions more suited to this method of presentation. These sessions will be introduced with brief descriptions of each poster. The Symposium will be conducted in English.


A Second Announcement and call for papers will be issued in early 1994 giving full instructions on the submission of titles, abstracts, and manuscripts, including the deadlines for publication. It is intended that selected contributions will be published, following peer review by ICES.


The Symposium, for which there will be a nominal registration fee (to be specified in the Second Announcement), will be open to all interested scientists who announce their participation to the Convener by not later than 31 March 1995. Further information on the venue, hotel accommodation, and other practical matters will be provided following announcement of participation. Those wishing to be included on any subsequent mailing lists should notify the Convener.

For further information, publication, registration and accomodation please contact the convenor:


Mr E.  John Simmonds 
Marine Laboratory 
P.O.  Box 101, Victoria Road 
Aberdeen, Scotland AB9 8DB, United Kingdom 
Telephone: +44 224 876544 
Fax: +44 224 295511 

Steering Committee

Dr Francois Gerlotto 
ORSTOM Centre Montpellier 
B.P.  5045, 34032 Montpellier, Cedex 1, France 
Fax: +33 67 54 78 00 

Dr D. Vance Holliday 
Tracor Applied Sciences 
Analysis and Applied Research Division 
9150 Chesapeake Drive 
San Diego, CA 92123, USA 
Telephone: + 1 619 268 9777 
Fax: + 1 619 268 9775 

Mr David N. MacLennan 
Marine Laboratory 
P.O.  Box 101, Victoria Road 
Aberdeen, Scotland AB9 8DB
United Kingdom 
Fax: +44 224 29.5511 

Dr.  Egil Ona
Institute of Marine Research 
P.O.  Box 1870, Nordnes 
5024 Bergen, Norway 
Fax: +47 5 23 83 87

Dr. Jim Traynor
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way
Seattle, WA  98115-0070

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