Through being awarded a project with Biobío Regional Government funds (SAFA Project), IFOP acquired scientific acoustic system, consisting of a SIMRAD EK 80 brand echo sounder with a split beam transducer of 38 kHz frequency. This system is installed in artisanal purse seine boats to carry outresearch in order to evaluate small pelagics stock and thus to estimate recruitment periods biomass, which occurs mainly in summer and autumn of each year.
Jorge Castillo, IFOP fishing engineer explained ” EK 80 scientific echosounder consists of an electronic instrument which produces an electrical pulse that is transformed into sound by means of its transducer and in this way a sound pulse is transmitted to the sea echoes that returned by fish schools are transformed into an electrical pulse by the transducer and are processed by the computer that contains the instrument. These data are analyzed by IFOP specialists for biomass estimation. In this case, we take advantage of the fact that fish schools echoes intensity is proportional to individuals m3 density a characteristic that finally allows estimating the biomass in the sea”.
Alberto Fuentes,SAFA-IFOP Projects’s Head, added “this scientific equipment was acquired under SAFA program (Transfer for common sardine and anchovy resources monitoring associated with Biobío Region artisanal fishing fleet), implemented by Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP) and financing by Biobío Regional Government (GORE) which seeks to strengthen and complement artisanal fishery research and monitoring programs for common sardines and anchovy in the Biobío Region, in order to ensure the activity sustainability of over time, strengthening collaborative work relationship between the artisanal fishing sector of the Region, sectoral institutions, IFOP and the Regional Government”.
SAFA Program considers within its components, common sardine and anchovy resources biomass acoustic evaluations reinforcing activities developed by IFOP, in the sampling fleet captured fish by spawning and recruitment periods and in closures periods which allows supporting decisions to modify administrative measures, improving resources administration with a more sustainable approach.
SAFA Program implies extending monitoring period to cover fixed and variable closure period of this small pelagic fishery, as well as improving spatial coverage, including areas that have not been part of the historical cruises and that can be carried out near of the coast. In this way, it complements and expands IFOP scope and SUBPESCA ASIPA Program ( Fisheries and Aquaculture decision-making Comprehensive Consultancy ), strengthening relevant information collection to support management measures and consequently decision-making in fisheries management effectiveness and relevance . SAFA has a two years duration and will serve to improve knowledge about common sardine and anchovy resources.
Rodrigo Daroch, from the Gore Biobío Industry Promotion Division, explained “for this Biobío Regional Government Fisheries Unit it is relevant to be able to count on analysis and scientific background such as, in this case biomass acoustic evaluations, which supply fishing information in this case sardine and anchovy fisheries.
Ruth Hernández, IFOP researcher, commented “during the year we have held workshops for users, local authorities and our peers, in order to publicize SAFA project, its scope and promoting it with fishermen different unions and organizations to support it. In addition to collecting concerns and doubts that arise during these instances. In the last workshop jointly carried out with ASIPA, the project’s partial results were presented, such as number of trips made to date, vessels that have actively participated in research fishing calls and hydroacoustic cruise’s results carried out in May this year. It is hoped that these instances stimulate and encourage more users to apply for research fishing”.
Press related links: