Within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea ( ICES) community (most of Northern Europe), there are currently over 20 fish stocks for which acoustic estimates are carried out. Most of these are pelagic (midwater) species such as herring, sprat, mackerel, sardine and anchovy.
Traditionally, the technique has not been suitable for the detection of demersal fish that occur very close to the bottom. This is because of the acoustic dead-zone, a small area, about 1-2 metres off the bottom, which is blind to acoustic instruments. This blindness occurs because of the shape of the acoustic beam.
Throughout the world, acoustic surveys are used for a variety of fisheries, such as Antarctic krill and the deep-water orange roughy off Tasmania.