As marine renewable energy sources take center stage globally, adaptive environmental monitoring for protected marine resources, such as marine mammals, is essential. Leading the charge in the passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals is the industry-standard software, PAMGuard. In a recent mitigation effort involving PAMGuard, a team of researchers developed a novel in situ approach for acoustically tracking the 3D movement of small, echolocating cetaceans during tidal turbine operations. Results from the analysis indicate that acoustically classified porpoises and dolphins appeared to investigate the turbines, as determined by acoustically tracking their close approach to the equipment, and in some instances, observations of localized buzzing vocal behavior. Additional details can be found in the publication by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and PAMGuard authors.
Interested in learning about the analysis techniques involved in this effort? Check out the Coding for Conservation’s spotlight on the authors’ use of PAMGuard, including sample code for noise analysis.
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