Presentation Abstract

There are a number of potential impacts associated with vessel traffic on marine ecosystems, including noise and oil pollution, ship-strikes, and fishing and fisheries bycatch. To assess these impacts, many studies employ marine traffic data collected using Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) onboard vessels. However, AIS only captures a fraction of the actual marine traffic because it omits many of the smaller vessels, which are not legally required to carry AIS. Without this information, the assessment of vessel-associated impacts based on AIS is inherently flawed, and underestimated. The NEMES (Noise Exposure to the Marine Environment from Ships) project is particularly interested in this unknown component of marine traffic as non-AIS vessels are likely contributing a considerable amount of noise in the Salish Sea. With the assistance of the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP), we have been collecting vessel traffic information for both AIS and non-AIS vessels during two years (2016, 2017) in parts of the Salish Sea. The AIS receiver and sensors onboard the NASP aircraft can collect AIS information and video with positional information of target objects such as vessels. The video also allows the characterization of the vessel type (e.g., sailboat, motorboat, fishing vessel) and vessel activity (i.e., fishing, motoring or sailing). Results indicate that non-AIS vessels contribute at least 60% of the overall vessel traffic in surveyed areas between 2016 and 2017. The majority of these non-AIS vessels are recreational vessels, particularly during the summer months and near popular touristic destinations such as the Southern Gulf Islands. Through this work, we are now able to build a more complete picture of the distribution and type of vessels using the Salish Sea, and have a better understanding of their potential impacts to the marine ecosystem.

Session Title

Collaborating to Reduce Impacts of Underwater Noise from Vessels on SKRW: Understanding and Managing Underwater Noise from Vessel Activities

Keywords

Vessel traffic, Aerial surveys

Conference Track

SSE14: Vessel Traffic: Risks and Impacts

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE14-103

Start Date

6-4-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 11:15 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, 11:00 AM Apr 6th, 11:15 AM

Quantifying marine vessel traffic from aerial surveys in the Salish Sea

There are a number of potential impacts associated with vessel traffic on marine ecosystems, including noise and oil pollution, ship-strikes, and fishing and fisheries bycatch. To assess these impacts, many studies employ marine traffic data collected using Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) onboard vessels. However, AIS only captures a fraction of the actual marine traffic because it omits many of the smaller vessels, which are not legally required to carry AIS. Without this information, the assessment of vessel-associated impacts based on AIS is inherently flawed, and underestimated. The NEMES (Noise Exposure to the Marine Environment from Ships) project is particularly interested in this unknown component of marine traffic as non-AIS vessels are likely contributing a considerable amount of noise in the Salish Sea. With the assistance of the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP), we have been collecting vessel traffic information for both AIS and non-AIS vessels during two years (2016, 2017) in parts of the Salish Sea. The AIS receiver and sensors onboard the NASP aircraft can collect AIS information and video with positional information of target objects such as vessels. The video also allows the characterization of the vessel type (e.g., sailboat, motorboat, fishing vessel) and vessel activity (i.e., fishing, motoring or sailing). Results indicate that non-AIS vessels contribute at least 60% of the overall vessel traffic in surveyed areas between 2016 and 2017. The majority of these non-AIS vessels are recreational vessels, particularly during the summer months and near popular touristic destinations such as the Southern Gulf Islands. Through this work, we are now able to build a more complete picture of the distribution and type of vessels using the Salish Sea, and have a better understanding of their potential impacts to the marine ecosystem.