INDIVIDUAL BASED MODELS (IBMs)
THA Aquatic has led the development of fish behaviour IBMs in the UK
It is well-known that the movements of fish and other aquatic animals are strongly influenced by water flow. Where engineering projects alter natural patterns of water movement it is often necessary to be able to predict how this will affect migratory movements of fish and other behaviours.
How fish might be expected to behave in relation to potential hazards such as hydropower turbines, thermal effluent fields or underwater noise emissions from activities such as construction and piling are common examples.
Our IBMs (also known as Agent-Based Models) aim to predict how fish will behave within the framework of a hydrodynamic model when established rules of behaviour are applied alongside measured population parameters (e.g size of species, swimming performance etc).
When many individuals are modelled together (typically n=105), the full breadth of expected response can be seen and demonstrated via video animations to stakeholders.
IBM demonstrating interesting schooling patterns emerging which could not have been predicted by focusing on assumed rules of behaviour.
Use of IBMs is becoming increasingly common within the planning & assessment process for water-based projects. Using structured models of this type is beneficial as it produces a repeatable and auditable assessment, where previously the only available tool was expert judgement.
Fish encounter modelling: IBM analysis of adult trout behaviours in Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay