New marine technique prevents accidental death of right whale

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has created acoustic buoys that warn passing ships when North Atlantic right whales are near.



Eastern seaboard. We are listening to the sound of the sea. We build the boys you see behind me, which we use to do real-time acoustic monitoring of right whales, which means we listen to the sounds they make and make observations about those sounds. transmit information back to shore. so that people can know. Correct. The whales’ senior scientist there, Mark Baumgartner, and his team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have been studying right whale calls and communication via these acoustic buoys since 2016. Currently, eight are strategically located in Savannah, Georgia, all the way to Boyce’s Martha’s Vineyard in the Atlantic Ocean. This helps us understand where right whales are and when they are there. So we’re learning new things about their distribution, which is really important because they get hit by ships, they get hit by us, humans. And so we need to know where they are in order to improve protection for them. One of the leading causes of death of right whales is attacks on ships. According to NOAA, since 2017, at least 12 right whales have been killed by a boat. Notoriously slow-moving, right whales can be difficult for boaters to spot due to their dark coloration and lack of a dorsal fin. Observe this diagram carefully. The blue dots and lines are ships sailing the Atlantic. In March 2021. And that one red dot is a tagged right whale migrating from breeding grounds in Georgia to summer feeding grounds. North of Maine. Whales are visible in the path of many ships. Ships that are typically traveling at more than ten knots, about ten, 11 miles per hour, pose a real risk of colliding with and killing a right whale. And so when right whales are around, we want boaters to slow down. The goal of these buoys is to alert boats in real time that there is a right whale in the area, with the hope that the boat will slow down and become alert. So how do these high tech boys work? The listening device is located at the bottom of the sea. This system is the heart of the system. This is a device that listens to whale sounds using this underwater microphone called a hydrophone. And then it represents those sounds in what are called pitch tracks. And then we send those pitch tracks digitally over this wire and eventually they’ll get to where we send them back via satellite to a computer in our lab, Baumgartner explains how right whale calls pitch in. goes up You can see different types of shapes in it. It also goes up in frequency, in addition to right whales, these boys are designed to detect the sounds of various other marine species, such as humpback whales and fin whales, some of which have a dual, beyond underwater listening equipment aid. serve the purpose. While avoiding ship and whale strikes, they also collect valuable data to better understand whale communication. Right whales call each other a lot. They use communication to keep in touch with each other in the calm ocean, their sounds can travel for many miles. So right whales that are five miles apart can communicate with each other. And it’s actually very important for their social interactions, for their opportunities to reproduce, and also for their opportunities for food. And besides entanglements and shipwrecks, climate change is also greatly affecting the North Atlantic right? Exactly whale. The warming of the oceans has changed the availability and location of their food sources and unfortunately this has brought them to areas where they are more prone to entanglement and SH.

New marine technique prevents accidental death of right whale

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has created acoustic buoys that warn passing ships when North Atlantic right whales are near.

In the ocean depths, up and down the Eastern Seaboard, the sounds of the ocean… and right whales… are being picked up by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s acoustic buoys. Right whales are notoriously slow-moving and can be difficult for sailors to spot… This means they are vulnerable to shipwrecks, one of the leading causes of death for these marine mammals. There is one. Senior scientist Mark Baumgartner says these buoys are designed to help alert nearby ships to slow down if a right whale is nearby. WHOI scientists are also learning how whales communicate with the help of acoustic buoys. You can learn more about acoustic monitoring devices and listen to whale sounds from different species at robots4whales.whoi.edu.

In the depths of the sea, up and down the eastern seaboard, the sound of the sea… and the right whale… being picked up Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s acoustic buoys,

Right whales are notoriously slow-moving and can be difficult for sailors to spot… this means they are vulnerable to ship strikes, which is one of the leading causes of death for these marine mammals.

senior scientist Mark Baumgartner says that these buoys are designed to help alert nearby ships so that they will slow down if a right whale is nearby. WHOI scientists are also learning how whales communicate with the help of acoustic buoys.

You can learn more about acoustic monitoring devices and listen to the sounds of whales of different species robots4whales.whoi.edu,


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