Interactive Marine Mammal Communications
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215 Parkway North, P.O. Box 280, Waterford, CT, 06385
AbstractA series of whale strandings have been correlated to the operation of naval medium-frequency active sonars. Sonalysts and WhaleAcoustics will define how to clear an area of cetaceans using non-injurious sound prior to the start of naval exercises. We propose to analyze existing data gathered at the Southern California Offshore Range (SCOR). These continuous broadband recordings include the pings of active sonars and communicative calls produced by identifiable species of cetaceans. Anecdotal evidence suggests that after a few days of Navy exercises, the SCOR region is empty of calling cetaceans. Our analysis will determine how and why this happens, identify the sounds which may be causing the animal's departure, and include ship noise and sonar transmissions. Correlating the occurrence of these sounds with possible changes in the animal's acoustic communication calls and travel directions will provide insights on how to clear an exercise area of cetaceans. The result of these analyses alone could impact future Environmental Impact Statements filed by the Navy with the National Marine Fisheries Service for sonar test ranges and could be brought into court in the continuing legal challenges to the use of Navy sonar under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
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