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Fish Population and Behavior Revealed by Instantaneous Continental Shelf-Scale Imaging

Science  03 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5761, pp. 660-663
DOI: 10.1126/science.1121756

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Abstract

Until now, continental shelf environments have been monitored with highly localized line-transect methods from slow-moving research vessels. These methods significantly undersample fish populations in time and space, leaving an incomplete and ambiguous record of abundance and behavior. We show that fish populations in continental shelf environments can be instantaneously imaged over thousands of square kilometers and continuously monitored by a remote sensing technique in which the ocean acts as an acoustic waveguide. The technique has revealed the instantaneous horizontal structural characteristics and volatile short-term behavior of very large fish shoals, containing tens of millions of fish and stretching for many kilometers.

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