Underwater sound from human activities affects the physiology and behavior of marine fauna. Ocean Networks Canada employs hydrophones to assess the large-scale acoustic ecology in the Strait of Georgia, near the mouth of the Fraser River, and on the NEPTUNE array off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Several whale species have been detected through recognition of their distinctive acoustic signals, including Orca, Grey, Humpback, and one interpreted to be an endangered North Pacific right whale, although there has been no visual confirmation.
Ocean Networks Canada is participating in an International Quiet Ocean Experiment to establish marine soundscapes and compare underwater noise levels in a variety of oceanic environments to learn what levels can be tolerated by large mammals and how adverse levels of underwater noise affect their behaviour.
See also the Acoustics Working Group page.
To learn more, contact staff scientist Martin Scherwath.