The ICES Working Group on Fisheries Acoustics, Science and Technology (WGFAST) is the only international forum where individuals working in fisheries acoustics can network to discuss ongoing developments in the technique. As such, it has been highly successful, attracting 63 participants from 16 countries to its meeting in Nelson, New Zealand from 4-7 April 2017. Highlights The major themes addressed during the WGFAST meeting included: • Behaviour; • Acoustic properties of marine organisms; • Emerging technologies, methodologies, and protocols; • Applications of acoustic methods to characterize ecosystems. A separate session was held for each theme, where the participants first presented the latest results of their work, followed by a discussion. The abstracts and discussion sum-maries are given in the report. The contributions highlighted the wide range of appli-cations of acoustics to characterize a fast growing list of ecosystem characteristics and features, as well as for abundance estimation surveys. Advancing technology, in-creased collection of ancillary data (e.g. environmental variables), and use of alterna-tive sampling methods has led to improvements in interpretation of acoustic data, but these are not always applied in analyses of abundance estimates. Discussions identified a need for future research for improved methods to refine survey gear, and quantify trawl selectivity across a broad range of species and sizes. WGFAST also suggested two theme sessions for consideration for the ICES Annual Science Conferences (ASC) planned in 2018 and 2019: 1) to consider use of survey products in assessments; and 2) application of new technologies (e.g. wideband acoustics) for fisheries surveys and eco-system investigation. Several presentations highlighted research and increasing applications of acoustic wideband technologies. Wideband systems are expected to replace the current stand-ard narrowband scientific echosounders. To accompany this change, WGFAST organ-ised an ICES Training Course on 'Principles and Methods of Broadband/Wideband Technologies: Application to fisheries acoustics' in December 2016, with a second course scheduled in December 2017. Members of WGFAST also met in a workshop in La Jolla, USA in September 2016 and published a CRR evaluating the Simrad EK80 wideband echosounder for fisheries and marine ecosystem science. WGFAST held a joint session with the ICES Working Group on Fishing Technology and Fish Behaviour (WGFTFB) (JFATB) on 3 April 2017. A workshop on Collecting Quality Underwater Acoustic Data in Inclement Weather (WKQUAD), the Working Group on Target Classification (WGTC), and a Topic Group on ‘Defining a data format for omni fisheries sonars’ were also held in conjunction with the 2017 WGFAST meeting
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