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Open AccessArticle

Instantaneous 3D Continental-Shelf Scale Imaging of Oceanic Fish by Multi-Spectral Resonance Sensing Reveals Group Behavior during Spawning Migration

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2
Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
3
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10010108
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 14 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Undersea Remote Sensing)
The migration of extensive social groups towards specific spawning grounds in vast and diverse ocean environments is an integral part of the regular spawning process of many oceanic fish species. Oceanic fish in such migrations typically seek locations with environmental parameters that maximize the probability of successful spawning and egg/larval survival. The 3D spatio-temporal dynamics of these behavioral processes are largely unknown due to technical difficulties in sensing the ocean environment over wide areas. Here, we use ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing (OAWRS) to instantaneously image immense herring groups over continental-shelf-scale areas at the Georges Bank spawning ground. Via multi-spectral OAWRS measurements, we capture a shift in swimbladder resonance peak correlated with the herring groups’ up-slope spawning migration, enabling 3D spatial behavioral dynamics to be instantaneously inferred over thousands of square kilometers. We show that herring groups maintain near-bottom vertical distributions with negative buoyancy throughout the migration. We find a spatial correlation greater than 0.9 between the average herring group depth and corresponding seafloor depth for migratory paths along the bathymetric gradient. This is consistent with herring groups maintaining near-seafloor paths to both search for optimal spawning conditions and reduce the risk of predator attacks during the migration to shallower waters where near-surface predators are more dangerous. This analysis shows that multi-spectral resonance sensing with OAWRS can be used as an effective tool to instantaneously image and continuously monitor the behavioral dynamics of swimbladder-bearing fish group behavior in three spatial dimensions over continental-shelf scales. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-spectral resonance sensing; continental-shelf scale 3D imaging; ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing; OAWRS; ocean acoustics; fish ecology; animal group behavior; oceanic fish multi-spectral resonance sensing; continental-shelf scale 3D imaging; ocean acoustic waveguide remote sensing; OAWRS; ocean acoustics; fish ecology; animal group behavior; oceanic fish
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yi, D.H.; Gong, Z.; Jech, J.M.; Ratilal, P.; Makris, N.C. Instantaneous 3D Continental-Shelf Scale Imaging of Oceanic Fish by Multi-Spectral Resonance Sensing Reveals Group Behavior during Spawning Migration. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 108.

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