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Researchers use new acoustic tools to study marine mammals and fish
Date:12/29/2009

are temporarily recovered and their batteries refreshed. Some archiving sensors can be mounted on individual animals.

"Marine animals live their lives and communicate acoustically across different time and space scales and use sound for different reasons," said Van Parijs. "We need to use the right tool in the right place for the right need. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to using technology in the ocean."

Large whales move and communicate over great distances, while smaller whales and dolphins tend to communicate over smaller areas. Pinnipeds, the group of marine mammals animals that includes seals, walrus and sea lions, breed on land, on ice or in the water, and move and communicate over small to medium distances. Human-produced sounds complicate the sensing problem by adding sounds to what can be a noisy environment.

The use of passive acoustic monitoring is increasing as improved reliability and lower hardware and software costs provide researchers with a set of tools that can answer a broad range of scientific questions. This information can, in turn, be used in conservation management and mitigation efforts. While most of the new technologies have been applied in studies of whales and dolphins, the researchers say the sensors can also be used in studying pinnipeds, sirenians (manatees and dugongs) and fish.


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Contact: Shelley Dawicki
Shelley.Dawicki@noaa.gov
508-495-2378
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Source:Eurekalert

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