The Southern Ocean Network of Acoustics (SONA) represents a group of scientific institutes and industrial partners who have united to measure an under-sampled component of the ecosystem – the mid-trophic level – , to agree common standards and protocols for data collection and processing and with a view to provide that data on an open access basis.

SONA will use bio-acoustics to monitor mid-trophic organisms at large spatial scales annually along transits to Antarctic research bases and fisheries sites. It will unite multinational calibrated acoustic data from both research and fisheries vessels into a common accessible database.

This data will inform on ecosystem based fisheries management, marine planning and monitoring impacts of climate change.

Ultimately the project will input data and knowledge to international bodies such as the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and international programmes such as Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics (ICED), through the SENTINEL programme, the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), and provide a road map for a global acoustic database of the mid-trophic level.

Structure of SONA project.