Due to the lack of reliable methods, manual fish counting is popular on farms. However, this approach is time and labor intensive. Using an echosounder and the echo-integration technique could be a better alternative. The echo-integration method has been widely used in fish abundance estimation in waterbodies because of its simplicity. However, most of the research is concentrated on the open ocean, whereas fish count estimation in farming cages has not been explored much. Using the echo-integration method in a cage offers its own unique sets of problems. Firstly, the echo signal reflected from the cage boundaries should also be taken into account. Secondly, the fish inside a cage behave differently with time, as their mobility pattern is highly dependent on sunlight and water current. In this paper, fish behavior inside an offshore cage over time was extensively studied, and based on that a real-time fish counter system using a commercial echosounder was developed. The experiments demonstrate that our method is simple, user-friendly, and has an estimation error of less than 10%. Since our method accurately estimated fish abundance, the method should be reliable when making fish management decisions.
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