Automatic Round-the-Clock Detection of Whales for Mitigation from Underwater Noise Impacts


Contact
Daniel.Zitterbart [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Loud hydroacoustic sources, such as naval mid-frequency sonars or airguns for marine geophysical prospecting, have been increasingly criticized for their possible negative effects on marine mammals and were implicated in several whale stranding events. Competent authorities now regularly request the implementation of mitigation measures, including the shut-down of acoustic sources when marine mammals are sighted within a predefined exclusion zone. Commonly, ship-based marine mammal observers (MMOs) are employed to visually monitor this zone. This approach is personnel-intensive and not applicable during night time, even though most hydroacoustic activities run day and night. This study describes and evaluates an automatic, ship-based, thermographic whale detection system that continuously scans the ship’s environs for whale blows. Its performance is independent of daylight and exhibits an almost uniform, omnidirectional detection probability within a radius of 5 km. It outperforms alerted observers in terms of number of detected blows and ship-whale encounters. Our results demonstrate that thermal imaging can be used for reliable and continuous marine mammal protection.



Item Type
Article
Authors
Divisions
Primary Division
Programs
Primary Topic
Peer revision
Scopus/ISI peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
33524
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0071217

Cite as
Zitterbart, D. P. , Kindermann, L. , Burkhardt, E. and Boebel, O. (2013): Automatic Round-the-Clock Detection of Whales for Mitigation from Underwater Noise Impacts , PLoS ONE . doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071217


Download
[img]
Preview
PDF
zitterbart_2013_IR_PONE.pdf

Download (2MB) | Preview
Cite this document as:

Share


Citation

Research Platforms

Campaigns


Actions
Edit Item Edit Item