PASSIVE ACOUSTIC MONITORING
In October 2001, researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Leviathan Legacy, Inc. conducted soniferous (sound-producing) fish surveys at three habitat types within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. These surveys used a remotely operated vehicle as a platform for the acquisition of passive acoustics data in conjunction with video data on fish presence, behavior and habitat type. The team found a strong faunal difference in both what was seen and what was heard in sand, gravel and boulder habitats, with the only calls detected on boulder habitat. These calls were later later identified as produced by cusk (Brosme brosme). This study was funded by the National Undersea Research Center.
Figure courtesy of Rodney Roundtree. 2001 passive acoustic sampling locations, including locations in the SBNMS.
For more information on this study see http://www.fishecology.org/soniferous/stellwagen.htm
In the fall of 2002, researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and MIT Sea Grant began working with Gulf of Maine fishermen to identify spawning habitat for Atlantic cod and haddock using passive acoustics. Novel underwater passive acoustic probes (hydrophones/recorders) were developed by the Center for Fisheries Engineering Research to be deployed by commercial fishermen in areas thought to contain spawning haddock. These Acoustic Underwater Listening Stations (AULS) were successfully used to record the spawning sounds of local groundfish species, along with sounds of whales, fishing ships and other noises. Over 3000 hours of acoustic recordings have been collected from 67 deployments within the Gulf of Maine. Seventeen 48-72 hour deployments were made within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Researchers are now analyzing these data to better understand the relationship between vocal activity and spawning behavior among groundfish species. This project was funded by the Northeast Consortium.
Figure courtesy of Rodney Rountree. 2003-2004 passive acoustic sampling locations, including SBNMS locations in blue.
For more information on this study see