• Sea Mammal Monitoring

    The effects of noise on aquatic life are one of the big unknowns of current marine science. The current state of uncertainty combined with the potential for future consequences has led some to take a precautionary view within the 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

    Ocean Observatories are being developed and deployed by researchers, scientists and institutions around the world’s 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.

  • Sea Ice Monitoring

    Ice breakup is a major component of the natural ocean sound field. With the recent widespread decreases in sea ice concentrations, researchers want to establish acoustic measurements for the ocean’s natural sound levels prior to increases in anthropogenic activities. Using hydrophones for long-term acoustic monitoring is an effective tool for observing changing levels of ambient sound related to sea ice dynamics, environmental noise-generating mechanisms, and anthropogenic noise, while simultaneously detecting marine mammals.