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Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation

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Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation. / Wensveen, Paul J.; Kvadsheim, Petter H.; Lam, Frans-Peter A.; von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M.; Sivle, Lise D.; Visser, Fleur; Curé, Charlotte; Tyack, Peter L.; Miller, Patrick J. O.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 220, No. 22, 15.11.2017, p. 4150-4161.

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Wensveen, PJ, Kvadsheim, PH, Lam, F-PA, von Benda-Beckmann, AM, Sivle, LD, Visser, F, Curé, C, Tyack, PL & Miller, PJO 2017, 'Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation' Journal of Experimental Biology, vol. 220, no. 22, pp. 4150-4161. https://doi.org/10.242/jeb.161232

APA

Wensveen, P. J., Kvadsheim, P. H., Lam, F-P. A., von Benda-Beckmann, A. M., Sivle, L. D., Visser, F., ... Miller, P. J. O. (2017). Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220(22), 4150-4161. https://doi.org/10.242/jeb.161232

Vancouver

Wensveen PJ, Kvadsheim PH, Lam F-PA, von Benda-Beckmann AM, Sivle LD, Visser F et al. Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2017 Nov 15;220(22):4150-4161. https://doi.org/10.242/jeb.161232

Author

Wensveen, Paul J. ; Kvadsheim, Petter H. ; Lam, Frans-Peter A. ; von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M. ; Sivle, Lise D. ; Visser, Fleur ; Curé, Charlotte ; Tyack, Peter L. ; Miller, Patrick J. O. / Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation. In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 220, No. 22. pp. 4150-4161.

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@article{6816152edd904f68a4415be2c579bd09,
title = "Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation",
abstract = "Exposure to underwater sound can cause permanent hearing loss and other physiological effects in marine animals. To reduce this risk, naval sonars are sometimes gradually increased in intensity at the start of transmission (‘ramp-up’). Here, we conducted experiments in which tagged humpback whales were approached with a ship to test whether a sonar operation preceded by ramp-up reduced three risk indicators – maximum sound pressure level (SPLmax), cumulative sound exposure level (SELcum) and minimum source–whale range (Rmin) – compared with a sonar operation not preceded by ramp-up. Whales were subject to one no-sonar control session and either two successive ramp-up sessions (RampUp1, RampUp2) or a ramp-up session (RampUp1) and a full-power session (FullPower). Full-power sessions were conducted only twice; for other whales we used acoustic modelling that assumed transmission of the full-power sequence during their no-sonar control. Averaged over all whales, risk indicators in RampUp1 (n=11) differed significantly from those in FullPower (n=12) by −3.0 dB (SPLmax), −2.0 dB (SELcum) and +168 m (Rmin), but not significantly from those in RampUp2 (n=9). Only five whales in RampUp1, four whales in RampUp2 and none in FullPower or control sessions avoided the sound source. For RampUp1, we found statistically significant differences in risk indicators between whales that avoided the sonar and whales that did not: −4.7 dB (SPLmax), −3.4 dB (SELcum) and +291 m (Rmin). In contrast, for RampUp2, these differences were smaller and not significant. This study suggests that sonar ramp-up has a positive but limited mitigative effect for humpback whales overall, but that ramp-up can reduce the risk of harm more effectively in situations when animals are more responsive and likely to avoid the sonar, e.g. owing to novelty of the stimulus, when they are in the path of an approaching sonar ship.",
keywords = "Behavioural response, Hearing loss, Naval sonar, Baleen whale, Anthropogenic noise, Ramp-up",
author = "Wensveen, {Paul J.} and Kvadsheim, {Petter H.} and Lam, {Frans-Peter A.} and {von Benda-Beckmann}, {Alexander M.} and Sivle, {Lise D.} and Fleur Visser and Charlotte Cur{\'e} and Tyack, {Peter L.} and Miller, {Patrick J. O.}",
note = "Funding: Natural Environment Research Council [NE/J500276/1 to P.J.W]; and the MASTS (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland) pooling initiative to P.L.T. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council [HR09011] and contributing institutions.",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "15",
doi = "10.242/jeb.161232",
language = "English",
volume = "220",
pages = "4150--4161",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Biology",
issn = "0022-0949",
publisher = "Company of Biologists Ltd",
number = "22",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Lack of behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) indicate limited effectiveness of sonar mitigation

AU - Wensveen, Paul J.

AU - Kvadsheim, Petter H.

AU - Lam, Frans-Peter A.

AU - von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M.

AU - Sivle, Lise D.

AU - Visser, Fleur

AU - Curé, Charlotte

AU - Tyack, Peter L.

AU - Miller, Patrick J. O.

N1 - Funding: Natural Environment Research Council [NE/J500276/1 to P.J.W]; and the MASTS (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland) pooling initiative to P.L.T. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding Council [HR09011] and contributing institutions.

PY - 2017/11/15

Y1 - 2017/11/15

N2 - Exposure to underwater sound can cause permanent hearing loss and other physiological effects in marine animals. To reduce this risk, naval sonars are sometimes gradually increased in intensity at the start of transmission (‘ramp-up’). Here, we conducted experiments in which tagged humpback whales were approached with a ship to test whether a sonar operation preceded by ramp-up reduced three risk indicators – maximum sound pressure level (SPLmax), cumulative sound exposure level (SELcum) and minimum source–whale range (Rmin) – compared with a sonar operation not preceded by ramp-up. Whales were subject to one no-sonar control session and either two successive ramp-up sessions (RampUp1, RampUp2) or a ramp-up session (RampUp1) and a full-power session (FullPower). Full-power sessions were conducted only twice; for other whales we used acoustic modelling that assumed transmission of the full-power sequence during their no-sonar control. Averaged over all whales, risk indicators in RampUp1 (n=11) differed significantly from those in FullPower (n=12) by −3.0 dB (SPLmax), −2.0 dB (SELcum) and +168 m (Rmin), but not significantly from those in RampUp2 (n=9). Only five whales in RampUp1, four whales in RampUp2 and none in FullPower or control sessions avoided the sound source. For RampUp1, we found statistically significant differences in risk indicators between whales that avoided the sonar and whales that did not: −4.7 dB (SPLmax), −3.4 dB (SELcum) and +291 m (Rmin). In contrast, for RampUp2, these differences were smaller and not significant. This study suggests that sonar ramp-up has a positive but limited mitigative effect for humpback whales overall, but that ramp-up can reduce the risk of harm more effectively in situations when animals are more responsive and likely to avoid the sonar, e.g. owing to novelty of the stimulus, when they are in the path of an approaching sonar ship.

AB - Exposure to underwater sound can cause permanent hearing loss and other physiological effects in marine animals. To reduce this risk, naval sonars are sometimes gradually increased in intensity at the start of transmission (‘ramp-up’). Here, we conducted experiments in which tagged humpback whales were approached with a ship to test whether a sonar operation preceded by ramp-up reduced three risk indicators – maximum sound pressure level (SPLmax), cumulative sound exposure level (SELcum) and minimum source–whale range (Rmin) – compared with a sonar operation not preceded by ramp-up. Whales were subject to one no-sonar control session and either two successive ramp-up sessions (RampUp1, RampUp2) or a ramp-up session (RampUp1) and a full-power session (FullPower). Full-power sessions were conducted only twice; for other whales we used acoustic modelling that assumed transmission of the full-power sequence during their no-sonar control. Averaged over all whales, risk indicators in RampUp1 (n=11) differed significantly from those in FullPower (n=12) by −3.0 dB (SPLmax), −2.0 dB (SELcum) and +168 m (Rmin), but not significantly from those in RampUp2 (n=9). Only five whales in RampUp1, four whales in RampUp2 and none in FullPower or control sessions avoided the sound source. For RampUp1, we found statistically significant differences in risk indicators between whales that avoided the sonar and whales that did not: −4.7 dB (SPLmax), −3.4 dB (SELcum) and +291 m (Rmin). In contrast, for RampUp2, these differences were smaller and not significant. This study suggests that sonar ramp-up has a positive but limited mitigative effect for humpback whales overall, but that ramp-up can reduce the risk of harm more effectively in situations when animals are more responsive and likely to avoid the sonar, e.g. owing to novelty of the stimulus, when they are in the path of an approaching sonar ship.

KW - Behavioural response

KW - Hearing loss

KW - Naval sonar

KW - Baleen whale

KW - Anthropogenic noise

KW - Ramp-up

UR - http://jeb.biologists.org/content/220/22/4150.supplemental

U2 - 10.242/jeb.161232

DO - 10.242/jeb.161232

M3 - Article

VL - 220

SP - 4150

EP - 4161

JO - Journal of Experimental Biology

T2 - Journal of Experimental Biology

JF - Journal of Experimental Biology

SN - 0022-0949

IS - 22

ER -

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