NEFSC Advanced Sampling Technologies Research Group (ASTRG)
Welcome to the Hydroacoustics Webpage!
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center's (NEFSC) Advanced Sampling Technologies Research Group (ASTRG) provides fisheries-independent population estimates of commercially important pelagic fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic using state-of-the-art acoustic and optic sampling technologies. The goal of the program is to improve the accuracy and precision of population estimates for management and conservation of living marine resources. Fisheries acoustics data are collected from more than 200 sea-days each year aboard the NOAA Ship Pisces and NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow during pelagic, bottom-trawl, and marine mammal surveys. Acoustic sampling operations include continuous measurements using hull-mounted transducers and multi-frequency scientific echosounders. Biological sampling with midwater and bottom trawls, and underwater video deployments is conducted to verify species-specific backscatter and characterize sea-floor habitat. In-situ and laboratory experiments aid in understanding species-specific acoustic measurements. We are continuously developing, testing, and evaluating advanced sampling technologies during laboratory and field experiments to improve abundance estimates and map spatial and temporal distributions of fish and invertebrates. Acoustic, optic, and biological data are audited and archived in the NEFSC relational data management system.