Application of active acoustic technology to assess the target strength of seahorses based on the presence of a reproductive organ
This study aims to provide reliable information on comparing the target strength (TS) values of seahorses based on the reproductive state. This study was carried out using hydro-acoustic technology in a water tank environment. Data were obtained using the single-beam scientific echo-sounder SIMRAD EK-15 at a frequency of 200 kHz and analyzed via the Sonar-4 software. The measurement result of the TS (mean±S.E.M.) of Hippocampus kuda female, male and pregnant male seahorses were -56.24±0.047, -57.25±0.032, and -58.26±0.06, respectively. There was a significant difference in the mean TS value of H. kuda based on the reproductive state (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the response to the mean TS value of pregnant H. kuda male (the presence of a brood pouch) was lowly significant compared to the female (absence of a brood pouch) (P < 0.05). The results showed a possibility of finding a pregnant H. kuda male in a water column through active acoustic methods in the future.
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