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Comparing methods suitable for monitoring marine mammals in low visibility conditions during seismic surveys

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Author(s)

Ursula K. Verfuss, Douglas Gillespie, Jonathan Gordon, Tiago A. Marques, Brianne Miller, Rachael Plunkett, James A. Theriault, Dominic J. Tollit, Daniel P. Zitterbart, Philippe Hubert, Len Thomas

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Loud sound emitted during offshore industrial activities can impact marine mammals. Regulations typically prescribe marine mammal monitoring before and/or during these activities to implement mitigation measures that minimise potential acoustic impacts. Using seismic surveys under low visibility conditions as a case study, we review which monitoring methods are suitable and compare their relative strengths and weaknesses. Passive acoustic monitoring has been implemented as either a complementary or alternative method to visual monitoring in low visibility conditions. Other methods such as RADAR, active sonar and thermal infrared have also been tested, but are rarely recommended by regulatory bodies. The efficiency of the monitoring method(s) will depend on the animal behaviour and environmental conditions, however, using a combination of complementary systems generally improves the overall detection performance. We recommend that the performance of monitoring systems, over a range of conditions, is explored in a modelling framework for a variety of species.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume126
Early online date7 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Marine mammals, Monitoring methods, Underwater noise, Seismic survey, Detection performance, Low visibility

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