Presentation Abstract

As marine traffic intensifies in the Salish Sea, cetaceans, and in particular, Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs), are continually facing increasing amounts of exposure to noise and other disturbances from movements of vessels. While the majority of large vessel activity can be captured and assessed through the use of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), the contribution of smaller non-AIS vessels is difficult to quantify and currently largely under assessed. Increasingly, government and industry are required to take operational and strategic mitigation measures to minimise vessel disturbances on cetaceans without reliable, comprehensive data and analysis to inform those decisions. Therefore this work focuses on filling these gaps by collecting information on both non-AIS vessels and the presence of marine mammal (including SRKW) within Boundary Pass) using three passive forms of data collection: an AIS receiver, hydrophones and a land-based camera. This talk describes an outline of the camera work being undertaken, from the design stages to installation. It will highlight some of the initial findings from the early analysis work along with some of the challenges and limitations of this type of data. Additionally, acoustic data on cetaceans in Boundary Pass will also be presented. Unlike the camera this form of passive monitoring is only able to capture the presence of cetaceans when they are vocalizing. Evidence already exists to suggest that some species reduce their rate of vocalization in the presence of vessels (and their associated noise). Therefore, integration of both acoustic and visual data will enable us to build a more complete picture of cetacean habitat use and the relationship between vessels and cetaceans in Boundary Pass. Furthermore, the information obtained through analysis of this data is also particularly important for informing models that aim to assess the level of vessel disturbance cetaceans are subjected to.

Session Title

Collaborating to Reduce Impacts of Underwater Noise from Vessels on SKRW: Biological Impacts of Underwater Noise from Vessels

Keywords

Cetaceans, Vessels, Boundary Pass

Conference Track

SSE14: Vessel Traffic: Risks and Impacts

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE14-11

Start Date

6-4-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 8:45 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

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 6th, 8:30 AM Apr 6th, 8:45 AM

Capturing Information on Vessels and Cetaceans: developing a passive monitoring system for Boundary Pass

As marine traffic intensifies in the Salish Sea, cetaceans, and in particular, Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKWs), are continually facing increasing amounts of exposure to noise and other disturbances from movements of vessels. While the majority of large vessel activity can be captured and assessed through the use of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), the contribution of smaller non-AIS vessels is difficult to quantify and currently largely under assessed. Increasingly, government and industry are required to take operational and strategic mitigation measures to minimise vessel disturbances on cetaceans without reliable, comprehensive data and analysis to inform those decisions. Therefore this work focuses on filling these gaps by collecting information on both non-AIS vessels and the presence of marine mammal (including SRKW) within Boundary Pass) using three passive forms of data collection: an AIS receiver, hydrophones and a land-based camera. This talk describes an outline of the camera work being undertaken, from the design stages to installation. It will highlight some of the initial findings from the early analysis work along with some of the challenges and limitations of this type of data. Additionally, acoustic data on cetaceans in Boundary Pass will also be presented. Unlike the camera this form of passive monitoring is only able to capture the presence of cetaceans when they are vocalizing. Evidence already exists to suggest that some species reduce their rate of vocalization in the presence of vessels (and their associated noise). Therefore, integration of both acoustic and visual data will enable us to build a more complete picture of cetacean habitat use and the relationship between vessels and cetaceans in Boundary Pass. Furthermore, the information obtained through analysis of this data is also particularly important for informing models that aim to assess the level of vessel disturbance cetaceans are subjected to.