Long-standing problems with acoustical terminology in fisheries applications such as echo-integration indicate the need for a more consistent approach. Based where possible on existing terms, a scheme of explicitly named quantities is proposed, backed by clearly stated definitions and preferred symbols. The emphasis is on scattering phenomena because the terminology in this area presents the main source of difficulty. Starting with the scattering equations for a small target, the volume, area, and line coefficients relevant to multiple, distributed targets are defined, leading to practical formulas for the important application of remote biomass estimation from echo-integration. The aim is to incorporate, as far as possible, common practice in fisheries-acoustics terminology and related fields. The developed scheme has been commended by the ICES Fisheries Acoustics Science and Technology Working Group as a constructive approach to better communication standards ill fisheries-acoustics publications. (C) 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.