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A novel fiber-optic hydrophone based on a dual-polarization, short-cavity fiber grating laser as the sensing element is described. Wet chemical etching was used to fabricate a thinned fiber sensor to extend its frequency response as well as spatial resolution. The lateral beam profile at the focal plane of a 40-MHz lens-focused lithium niobate (LiNbO3) transducer was measured with the fiber sensor, and a tomographic technique was used to compute the transducer profile, which is compared with that obtained by a PVDF hydrophone. The fiber hydrophone has a sensitivity of approximately -259 dB re 1 V/muPa up to 40 MHz, which is higher than that of a commercial PVDF hydrophone. Moreover, it is capable of accurately characterizing the beam generated by high-frequency transducer.