Type of Presentation

Snapshot

Session Title

Toxics, Pollutants and Species

Description

Underwater noise from anthropogenic sources has been increasing dramatically for the past few decades. Its impacts on marine mammals have been widely studied, but little is known of the effects of noise on fishes and invertebrates. Marine anthropogenic noise at low frequencies overlaps with fishes’ hearing range and peak sound production which can reduce their communication space and result in habitat loss. In addition to increasing stress levels and impairing the ability of fish to detect prey and predators, intense noise can cause tissue damage, temporary hearing loss and reduced survival.

This study is part of a MEOPAR project that focuses on quantifying and comparing vessel noise from recordings at three locations: SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area (SKB MPA), Sachs Harbour (Amundsen Gulf) and the Salish Sea. Acoustic data were collected by DFO at SKB MPA with an autonomous recorder between July 2011 and July 2013. Our project focuses on inspecting these data in search of fish sounds to determine presence and identification of sound-producing fish species and the seasonality of their acoustic behaviour. We will then correlate these detections with the MEOPAR ocean soundscape quantifications to identify potential acoustic threats to deep-water habitats of Pacific fishes. The same procedure could be applied to the Salish Sea location, which is facing increased vessel traffic due to port expansion. Fish sounds have already been detected and identified at the Delta node of the Venus underwater cabled observatory and the impacts of increased anthropogenic noise on these species is currently unknown. This study addresses the need to cover knowledge gaps in fish acoustic behaviour and quantify the baseline soundscape in coastal and deep-water habitats of Pacific fishes to inform managers of the impact of multiple stressors so they can set maximum thresholds in target habitats to be protected.

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Effects of anthropogenic noise on fishes at the SK-B Seamount Marine Protected Area

2016SSEC

Underwater noise from anthropogenic sources has been increasing dramatically for the past few decades. Its impacts on marine mammals have been widely studied, but little is known of the effects of noise on fishes and invertebrates. Marine anthropogenic noise at low frequencies overlaps with fishes’ hearing range and peak sound production which can reduce their communication space and result in habitat loss. In addition to increasing stress levels and impairing the ability of fish to detect prey and predators, intense noise can cause tissue damage, temporary hearing loss and reduced survival.

This study is part of a MEOPAR project that focuses on quantifying and comparing vessel noise from recordings at three locations: SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area (SKB MPA), Sachs Harbour (Amundsen Gulf) and the Salish Sea. Acoustic data were collected by DFO at SKB MPA with an autonomous recorder between July 2011 and July 2013. Our project focuses on inspecting these data in search of fish sounds to determine presence and identification of sound-producing fish species and the seasonality of their acoustic behaviour. We will then correlate these detections with the MEOPAR ocean soundscape quantifications to identify potential acoustic threats to deep-water habitats of Pacific fishes. The same procedure could be applied to the Salish Sea location, which is facing increased vessel traffic due to port expansion. Fish sounds have already been detected and identified at the Delta node of the Venus underwater cabled observatory and the impacts of increased anthropogenic noise on these species is currently unknown. This study addresses the need to cover knowledge gaps in fish acoustic behaviour and quantify the baseline soundscape in coastal and deep-water habitats of Pacific fishes to inform managers of the impact of multiple stressors so they can set maximum thresholds in target habitats to be protected.