Coastal Connections – Episode 11  – Sounding off: Protecting whales through acoustic research

Coastal Connections – Episode 11 – Sounding off: Protecting whales through acoustic research

The best way to protect whales is to keep ships and other human activities away from them, but we have to know where they are in order to avoid them. Traditionally this has meant watching for whales from the surface, which is time consuming and ineffective especially for deep diving species of whales. The solution may be to use another sense: sound rather than sight. The same acoustic detection techniques developed to detect the submarines are now being used to listen underwater for unique whale calls. Scientists and researchers with the Department of National Defence’s science and technology organization, Defence Research and Development Canada, are working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, Dalhousie University and industry partners in this collaborative effort to protect whales. The goal is to use the underwater sound data in an app with a simple interface that will alert red or green on areas to avoid on a map in order to protect whales. This project has received permitting from DFO and Government of Nunavut along with obtaining animal ethics approval from Dalhousie. In this episode: Commander Brian May, @DRDC_RDDC Associate Centre Director of the Atlantic Research Centre Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) DRDC Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/defence-research-development.html Dr. Carolyn Binder @CMBinder Defence Scientist for DRDC, specializes in ocean acoustics https://gisp.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/apps/WhaleInsight/eng/?locale=en Dr. Sarah Fortune @SFortuneSea Assistant Professor in the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University specializes in whale ecology and conservation. Lab Website: https://www.fortunewhalelab.com/ In the Media CBC story: Canada’s military watches for whales, to adjust its exercises (Jan 2022) – https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=4865227480230719 Tweet: World Whales Day video – https://twitter.com/DRDC_RDDC/status/1495412937837658114?s=20&t=JaZPyDEBR2BB-tFke8bwvw Other resources Acoustic data from the gliders and DFO buoys: https://whalemap.org Contribute to citizen science here in the Atlantic: https://www.canadianwhaleinstitute.ca/whalealert For the West Coast: https://wildwhales.org/wras/ Ocean Protection Plan – https://tc.canada.ca/en/initiatives/oceans-protection-plan Maritimes Marine Animal Response Society – https://marineanimals.ca/ Listen to Whales – https://apps-nefsc.fisheries.noaa.gov/pacm/#/ Learn more about the science of sound – https://dosits.org Collaborators Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Maj Dugald Thomson (DRDC Air Force Liaison Officer at DRDC) Mr Craig Reesor (Defence Construction Canada supporting RCAF Environment and Operational Sustainability) DRDC scientists: Dr Andrew Day Dr Brendan Rideout Mr Aaron Webstey Dalhousie University University of Windsor University of New Brunswick University of Ottawa Fisheries and Oceans Canada Transport Canada Royal Canadian Navy Royal Canadian Air Force Canadian Wildlife Society and Nunavut Fishing Association JASCO Applied Sciences Open Ocean Robotics Project Supporters World Wildlife Fund through Mitacs (Leah Trigg postdoctoral fellowship) ArcticNet This work is endorsed by: United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

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