Presentation Abstract

The commercial whale watch industry is interested in understanding the nature of underwater noise produced by whale watch vessels, to help their operators minimize noise emissions. Most focus on vessel-related noise has been on large commercial shipping vessels, with very little attention paid to the smaller vessel types used for commercial whale watching and for recreational purposes. Whale watch companies need this information to guide choices of equipment, such as propulsion systems, to minimize noise emissions that lead to exposures of the marine fauna that are the focus of their industry. In summer 2017, several Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) vessels participated in a systematic underwater noise measurement study designed to accurately characterize a variety of small vessel noise emissions. This study, supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO program, was carried out by JASCO Applied Sciences in Haro Strait using two calibrated, high-resolution AMAR recorders deployed in approximately 200 m water depth. Participating vessels were directed to sail along defined tracks to meet the geometry requirements of radiated noise level measurement standard ANSI 12.64 (2009) – survey method. A total of 22 vessels participated, ranging in size from a 5.2 m Zodiak to a 19 m monohull, with multiple engine and propeller configurations. Engine power ranged from 10 HP to more than 1500 HP. A total of 148 sail track passes were monitored with each vessel measured multiple times at several pre-defined speeds. We will present a whale watch industry perspective from participating company Eagle Wing Tours Ltd. on how these measurements are relevant to addressing noise issues, and we will discuss the high-level measurement results, highlighting differences in noise emissions with vessel type and size, and type of propulsion system.

Session Title

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

Keywords

Vessel noise, Whale watch, Source level

Conference Track

SSE14: Vessel Traffic: Risks and Impacts

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE14-648

Start Date

6-4-2018 11:15 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 11:30 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, 11:15 AM Apr 6th, 11:30 AM

Characterizing underwater radiated noise from Pacific Whale Watch Association vessels

The commercial whale watch industry is interested in understanding the nature of underwater noise produced by whale watch vessels, to help their operators minimize noise emissions. Most focus on vessel-related noise has been on large commercial shipping vessels, with very little attention paid to the smaller vessel types used for commercial whale watching and for recreational purposes. Whale watch companies need this information to guide choices of equipment, such as propulsion systems, to minimize noise emissions that lead to exposures of the marine fauna that are the focus of their industry. In summer 2017, several Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) vessels participated in a systematic underwater noise measurement study designed to accurately characterize a variety of small vessel noise emissions. This study, supported by Fisheries and Oceans Canada through the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s ECHO program, was carried out by JASCO Applied Sciences in Haro Strait using two calibrated, high-resolution AMAR recorders deployed in approximately 200 m water depth. Participating vessels were directed to sail along defined tracks to meet the geometry requirements of radiated noise level measurement standard ANSI 12.64 (2009) – survey method. A total of 22 vessels participated, ranging in size from a 5.2 m Zodiak to a 19 m monohull, with multiple engine and propeller configurations. Engine power ranged from 10 HP to more than 1500 HP. A total of 148 sail track passes were monitored with each vessel measured multiple times at several pre-defined speeds. We will present a whale watch industry perspective from participating company Eagle Wing Tours Ltd. on how these measurements are relevant to addressing noise issues, and we will discuss the high-level measurement results, highlighting differences in noise emissions with vessel type and size, and type of propulsion system.