Event Title

Visual and acoustic effects of ambient noise on harbor porpoise in the Possession Sound

Presentation Abstract

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are one of the most frequently sighted cetaceans in the Salish Sea and are referred to as a sentinel species due to their sensitivity to anthropogenic threats, including that of vessel traffic and boat noise. The abundance and frequency of harbor porpoise in the Possession Sound was examined using data collected by Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) from late 2011 through early 2018. Both ambient noise and vessel traffic noise were monitored to see how different sound levels in aquatic ecosystems affect harbor porpoise visual and acoustic behavior. Since harbor porpoise are typically a shy, enigmatic species, a hydrophone was deployed on select cruises to capture harbor porpoise acoustics even if they were not visibly spotted. Additionally, when harbor porpoises were spotted, a hydrophone was deployed to capture the vessel and ambient sounds in the water as well as the acoustic behavior of the harbor porpoises. While humans have a hearing range of between 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz, harbor porpoise hear at a frequency between 100 hertz and 150 kilohertz. Using Raven Pro 1.5, the hydrophone recordings were examined for high frequency ambient noise and sounds from harbor porpoises. The visual and acoustic behavior of harbor porpoises was than compared between different levels of ambient noise to see if higher or lower noise negatively affect harbor porpoise in the Possession Sound.

Session Title

Posters: Vessel Traffic: Risk & Impacts

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-134

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Visual and acoustic effects of ambient noise on harbor porpoise in the Possession Sound

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are one of the most frequently sighted cetaceans in the Salish Sea and are referred to as a sentinel species due to their sensitivity to anthropogenic threats, including that of vessel traffic and boat noise. The abundance and frequency of harbor porpoise in the Possession Sound was examined using data collected by Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) from late 2011 through early 2018. Both ambient noise and vessel traffic noise were monitored to see how different sound levels in aquatic ecosystems affect harbor porpoise visual and acoustic behavior. Since harbor porpoise are typically a shy, enigmatic species, a hydrophone was deployed on select cruises to capture harbor porpoise acoustics even if they were not visibly spotted. Additionally, when harbor porpoises were spotted, a hydrophone was deployed to capture the vessel and ambient sounds in the water as well as the acoustic behavior of the harbor porpoises. While humans have a hearing range of between 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz, harbor porpoise hear at a frequency between 100 hertz and 150 kilohertz. Using Raven Pro 1.5, the hydrophone recordings were examined for high frequency ambient noise and sounds from harbor porpoises. The visual and acoustic behavior of harbor porpoises was than compared between different levels of ambient noise to see if higher or lower noise negatively affect harbor porpoise in the Possession Sound.