Images - 1) shows simultaneous IS and optical still frames of the five most abundant fish species at the SRFT 2) Location of the SRFT relative to the North Rottnest Fish Tower, Rottnest Island and Perth. Inset map shows the study region (blue rectangle) relative to the W Coast of Australia.


A new paper from The National Decommissioning Centre’s Ed Sibley has quantified the ability of Imaging Sonar (IS) to identify fish species at a subtropical artificial reef off Perth, Western Australia.

The study showed that IS can identify reef fish with variable success and proposes an alternative method for describing fish assemblages irrespective of species identity.

Building on prior investigations the study used two traits, body size and schooling tendency, to categorize and cluster fish detected by IS at a species rich area and achieved variable success in the identification of the five most abundant species at the reef (observed using simultaneous optical footage).

The systematic approach to species classification can be applied to all fish communities in all ecosystems and contexts, based on the clustering of traits that can be quantified by ISs for all fish species.

Read the full paper here –

Ed Sibley is a Fisheries Acoustics PhD student through the NDC’s anchor partnership with Chevron.

Read more of his research here – and

A PhD opportunity is currently available with the NDC and Chevron here –

Notes for Editors

PublishedFriday October 27th, 2023