- Marine Mammal Monitoring
- Ocean Observatories
- Harbour Security
Sea Mammal Monitoring
The effects of noise on aquatic life is one of the big unknowns of current marine science. The current state of uncertainty combined with the potential for future consequences has lead some to take a precautionary view within legislation. The human contribution to ocean noise has increased during the past few decades with human noise becoming the dominant component of marine noise in some regions. This noise is directly correlated with the increasing industrialization of the ocean. Sound is an important factor in the lives of many marine organisms and the human additions to ocean sound overlap the full range of animal uses for sound in the ocean.
Theories and increasing observations suggest that man-made noise could be approaching levels at which negative effects on marine life may be occurring. Researchers need to identify the thresholds of such effects for each marine species and predict how increasing anthropogenic sound will enhance the effects. Researchers need to examine the functional relationship between sound and the viability of key marine organisms. Researchers and scientists are using passive acoustic monitoring in the form of hydrophones to study marine mammals.
Ocean Observatories are being developed and deployed by researchers, scientists and institutions around the worlds oceans. Some observatories are cabled, some are moored, and some are made up of surface buoys. The Ocean Networks Canada Observatory, comprising VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled networks, supports transformative coastal to deep ocean research and technology. It enables real-time interactive experiments, focused on ocean health, ecosystems, resources, natural hazards, and marine conservation. Currently there are two icListen High Frequency Smart Hydrophones and one icListen Low Frequency Smart Hydrophone on NEPTUNE, and one icListen Low Frequency Smart Hydrophone on VENUS. The cabled network is a 24/7 connection to the seafloor which enables researchers to constantly observe the ocean in real-time. The data is considered real-time because within seconds of it being collected it is streamed online which allows scientists, researchers, and the public the opportunity to access and analyze the data so they can see for themselves the changes in ocean properties.
The successful detection and tracking of sources of underwater noise is of particular interest for both the monitoring of marine life, as well as for reducing potential threats to port and harbour security. The use of passive acoustics is a cost-effective solution to the monitoring of unidentified underwater targets, whether hostile, friendly or purely environmental.
Underwater acoustics are used in the interest of having an undetectable surveillance system. A common method used for passive acoustics in the detection and tracking of targets is the utilization of hydrophones, hydrophone arrays, and radio buoys. If real-time data is needed the Ocean Sonics GSM Radio Buoy can supply instrument power and a link if cables are not possible. This link sends hydrophone data over the Internet to the user’s desktop.