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Combining acoustic and trawl data for estimating fish abundance *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-02038
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,514,280 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,071,799 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Abstract:
The principal, fisheries-independent, data source for the stock assessment of commercial ground fish in European waters is the standard bottom trawl survey. It is now possible and, often, routine, to collect simultaneous acoustic data during these surveys. However, these two sources of information are used separately. Combination of these two methodologies would be one of the most cost-effective ways of improving these surveys. Data sets will be selected to encompass existing situations with focus on the International Bottom Trawl Surveys. For each data set, the relationships between acoustic and trawl data will be analysed, modelled and used to provide combined indices of abundance. Intrinsic model performance will be evaluated, as will the performance of the derived indices in comparison to existing assessment indices. The findings will be used to define possible survey design improvements, which will be field tested in a pilot survey.

Objectives:
The principle objective of this project is to develop and apply appropriate combination methodologies for the use of both acoustic and trawl data from bottom trawl surveys. Bottom trawl surveys are the most important, fisheries-independent data source used in stock assessment of commercial groundfish in European waters. The inclusion of simultaneously collected acoustic survey data, with its more resolved sampling structure, could potentially improve the precision and accuracy of these surveys at little extra cost.

Within this overall aim, the project has four main objectives:

- to determine the relationships between the acoustic and trawl data;
- to develop mathematical models to calculate combined stock abundance indices;
- to test the performance of these new indices within the stock assessment process; and
- to provide and test improved survey designs which allow optimum collection of both types of data.


Coordinator
Philippe LE BOZEC
ASSOCIATION POOUR LA RECHERCHE ET LE DEVELOPPEMENT DES METHODES ET PROCESSUS INDUSTRIELS (ARMINES)
Fontainebleau
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 40519050
Fax: +33 1 40510094
E-mail: dae-montage@armines.ensmp.fr


Partners
  Jean-Pierre HEMMERY
INSTITUT FRANCAIS DE RECHERCHE POUR L'EXPLOITATION DE LA MER
Boulogne sur Mer
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 46482100
Fax: +33 1 46482248
E-mail: Jean.Pierre.Hemmery@ifremer.fr
  John DAVIES
THE SCOTTISH MINISTERS ACTING TROUGH FISHERIES RESEARCH SERVICES MARINE LABORATORY
Aberdeen
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1224876544
Fax: +44 1224295511
E-mail: daviesjm@marlab.ac.uk
  Wendy DAWSON
THE CENTRE OF ENVIRONMENT FISHERIES & AQUACULTURE SCIENCE
Lowestoft
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1502524250
Fax: +44 1502524569
E-mail: w.a.dawson@cefas.co.uk
  Hans ERSTAD
INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH
Bergen
NORWAY
Tel.: +47 55238518
Fax: +47 55238531
E-mail: hans.erstad@imr.no
  David WEIR
THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST
Belfast
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 2890274067
Fax: +44 2890687558
E-mail: d.weir@qub.ac.uk
  Philippe LE BOZEC
ECOLE NATIONALE SUPERIEURE DES MINES DE PARIS (ENSPM)
Fontainebleau
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 40519050
Fax: +33 1 40510094
E-mail: dae-montage@armines.ensmp.fr