Study

Understanding the effectiveness of acoustic deterrent devices on minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a low frequency cetacean

  • Published source details McGarry T., Boisseau O., Stephenson S. & Compton R. (2017) Understanding the effectiveness of acoustic deterrent devices on minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a low frequency cetacean. ORJIP Project 4, Phase 2. RPS Report EOR0692. The Carbon Trust report.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use acoustic devices to deter marine and freshwater mammals from an area to reduce noise exposure

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Use acoustic devices to deter marine and freshwater mammals from an area to reduce noise exposure

    A before-and-after study in 2016 of a pelagic area in Faxaflói Bay, Iceland (McGarry et al. 2017) found that when an acoustic device was deployed, minke whales Balaenoptera acutorostrata swam away from the device, increased their swimming speed and swam more directly than before the device was deployed, although two of seven returned to the area soon after the device was turned off. All of 15 minke whales swam away from the acoustic device during 15 minutes in which it was active. The average swimming speed of the 15 tracked whales was greater while the device was active (15 km/h) than before (8 km/h), and the whales swam more directly (data reported as directness indices). Two of seven whales tracked for 30 minutes after the device was turned off returned to the area within 10–15 minutes. In August–September 2012, an acoustic device (Lofitech Seal Scarer) was deployed at a potential wind farm site during 15 trials from a 4.2-m rigid inflatable boat at distances of 300–1,500 m from minke whales. During each trial, the device was turned on (emitting 500 ms pulses at random intervals and frequencies of 10–20 kHz) for 15 minutes. Each of 15 whales was tracked from a research vessel using a video system for 45 minutes before, 15 minutes during and 30 minutes after (seven whales only) the device was activated.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references

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