WGFAST holds state-of-the-art expertise in advanced acoustic-trawl survey techniques and employs these techniques on a wide range of platforms including research vessels, ships of opportunity, and observatories.
The group has been a key in developing acoustic trawl surveys, and throughout its lifetime the focus has shifted from solving the technical challenges of reliable acoustic measurements to the use of acoustics to observe key biological parameters such as biomass indices, behavioural metrics, and acoustic species classification. It has recently expanded its core activities to include the use of acoustics to study marine ecosystems on a wide range of observation platforms.
At approximately 5-7 year intervals, WGFAST organizes a symposium to facilitate information exchange among fisheries acousticians, physicists, engineers, biologists, and ecologists. The published proceedings from these conferences reflect the historical development from acoustic-trawl surveys to addressing broader interests in applied aquatic observation systems.
Participants at WGFAST 2014 in New Bedford, MA, USA.