About SEAC

Southeast Acoustics Consortium

Purpose

Active acoustics (i.e., fisheries sonar, echosounders) are integral to research and management of fishery stocks in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and New England. Underwater acoustic sensors are also being deployed as part of integrated ocean observatories and energy development platforms (e.g., tidal and wind power facilities) in the mid-Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Applications of active acoustics are less developed in the Southeast US, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. The Southeast Regional Acoustics Consortium is conceived as a working group that would bring together academic institutions, federal and regional fisheries and environmental management agencies, and private industry that conduct acoustics research in the coastal ocean of the US from North Carolina to Texas and the US Caribbean. The Consortium kicked off with a 2012 workshop and forum to discuss current research and management needs, and will bring people together once again in April 2014.

Consortium Objectives:

  • To inventory activities, interest, expertise, and assets related to active acoustics
  • To inform regional managers and science leads on the state of the science and emerging acoustic - technologies
  • To identify data gaps and management needs and the potential to fill those gaps using acoustic technologies
  • To encourage education and training through academic and research opportunities

Management Drivers:

  • Stock Assessment Improvements: Feasibility of acoustics to provide indices for use in stock assessments or ancillary variables to improve survey design for resource assessments
  • Integrated Ecosystem Assessments: Synoptic observations across trophic levels and biological organization (e.g., prey fields for top predators and marine mammals; corals as fish habitat)
  • Ocean Observatories and Energy Platforms: Stationary, real-time measures of pelagic fauna and oceanographic features and potential impacts (positive/negative) of energy development
  • Ecosystem Impacts, Response and Restoration: Repeatable survey techniques to detect impacts and trends over ranges of space and time scales.

Anticipated Participants:

Federal, regional and state science and management agencies, academic researchers, private and non-governmental organizations from North Carolina to Texas and the US Caribbean. Students interested in fisheries, habitat mapping and acoustics are strongly encouraged to participate.

Planning Team