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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Development of Active and Passive Acoustic Measurements to Improve the Production and Profitability of U.S. Aquaculture

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop technology and methodology for both passive and active acoustic applications to improve the production and profitability of aquaculture in the United States. This includes the use of ultrasound to mechanically clean water, utilizing acoustic stimuli on catfish to improve seining operations and passive acoustic monitoring of small fry. This project supports the unit objective to develop new equipment and technologies to improve profitability of channel catfish farming.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Preliminary acoustic measurements of commercial algae control systems will be made in the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) calibration tank. Customized equipment will be assembled at the NCPA and delivered to National Warmwater Aquaculture Center (NWAC) for lab and field trials by USDA personnel. Measurements on fish stimuli with sound will be made at USDA-NWAC tanks and ponds with later trials performed in conjunction with seining to determine effectiveness. Equipment for passive monitoring of catfish fry will be assembled at the NCPA. Measurements will be made by NCPA personnel at USDA-NWAC facilities.


3.Progress Report

The purpose of this agreement is to investigate active and passive acoustic techniques to improve the profitability of U.S. aquaculture. There are several potential applications of ultrasound to improve aquaculture. These include the control of such as snails near the pond bank and the improvement of vaccine delivery via transdermal drug delivery. These applications will be investigated. A passive acoustic monitoring system was assembled and tested for using sound levels in ponds as a means of determining survival in recently-stocked freshwater prawn and shrimp ponds. Since shrimp live at the bottom and have no swim bladder, visual observations and standard SONAR measurements would not be helpful to determine inventories even in an approximate sense. A prototype unit was delivered to a commercial shrimp farmer for evaluation. Work also progressed on the use of acoustics to modify fish behavior to improve seining by moving them away from nets during harvesting. Previous measurements of catfish sound generation during spawning as well as a new set of measurements have been collected to generate a data base of naturally occurring sounds to inject into ponds. Measurements have also been made of artificial and man-made sounds such as boat motors and pure tones from pool speakers to investigate their use to move fish in the pond in a predictable manner. A portable sound delivery system has also been assembled for input of sounds into commercial ponds and will be tested later in the summer. Work also continued on an individual fish-sizer which can provide the size distribution of a sample of captured fish in collaboration. After a small sub-sample of fish has been seined, they are acoustically scanned as they return to the pond through a restrictive pipe. Measurements were taken in the fall of 2008 and the fall of 2009. The first data set predicted a mean and standard deviation in weight of 2.15 and 1.77 lbs, for a fish sample population (106 fish) that had a measured mean and standard deviation in weight of 1.86 and 1.65 lbs. The second data set predicted a mean and standard deviation in weight of 1.42 and 1.30 lbs, for a fish sample population (250 fish) that had a measured mean and standard deviation in weight of 1.43 and 1.16 lbs. The ADODR monitors this project through telephone calls and e-mails to the collaborator, and through annual reports and periodic meetings with the collaborator.


Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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