Marine ecosystem acoustics is an approach that utilizes acoustics as the primary tool for understanding, assessing, and monitoring marine ecosystems. The approach holds the potential of becoming a principal contributor to operational Ecosystem Based Management (EBM). It is part of the strategy to move towards integrated management within ICES, but also elsewhere. The potential of marine ecosystem acoustics cannot be realized without systematic cross disciplinary interactions and cooperation within fields such as fisheries acoustics, physics, engineering, biology, oceanography, ecology, and ecosystem modelling. The ability of acoustics to resolve ecosystem processes at the spatio-temporal scales at which they occur fosters improved and new ecosystem understanding, such as. quantification of physical forcing and biological responses, and patterns in prey-predator distribution and interactions, which are a prerequisite for EBM.

The primary aim of this symposium is to bring together scientists and ideas from various fields to facilitate and catalyse interdisciplinary interactions with acoustics as the central tool to further the development of marine ecosystem acoustics.

The Symposium will review and discuss recent developments in acoustic methods and technologies used to characterize and manage marine and freshwater ecosystems. Particular emphasis will be placed on technologies used to measure diverse aspects of the aquatic environment, techniques for data analysis, and the integration of multiple data sets to elucidate functional ecological relationships and processes. Contemporary challenges and future directions of these objectives will be identified.

This will be the 7th ICES sponsored Symposium on Fisheries Acoustics and Technology investigating aquatic ecosystems. Previous symposia were held in Bergen, Norway (1973, 1982, and 2008), in Seattle, USA (1987), in Aberdeen, Scotland (1995), and in Montpellier, France (2002).

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