The ARIS Sonar Camera: A New Technology for Fisheries Research

I’m Dana Lee. I’m a fish biologist with FISHBIO based out of Chico, California but currently working in the Tonle Sap River in the Mekong Basin. Today, we are testing an ARIS Sonar camera. So this is the first time that we’ve actually brought it to the Mekong Basin. It works similar to a medical ultrasound, so it shoots out soundwaves and then converts the returning soundwaves into a digital image as shown on this screen here. With this tool, you can really get a good idea of what the underwater habitats and structures looks like and so observing fish behavior, potentially spawning behaviors in some of these locations. So we spend the last couple of days in the Tonle Sap
at the edge of the lake and here on the Tonle Sap River. We are filming footage off of the dai barge right here as we speak really, at this point, testing the feasibility of the camera. The next process is, we’ll take this back and we will run some different software to look at this so we will have to actually review the footage and then we will be able to, not only count the abundance of fish but be able to tell what the size composition was and maybe if there is any unique body shape try to ID (identify) some of these fish down to their species level. We’re here at the end of the high-water season so the fish have been pretty spread out we have not seen a very high density of fish but that is good information for us to be able to design future studies and think about the time and periods we want to come back and the research questions that we can answer with this tool.

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