Monitoring Marine Mammals from Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Project: Standard

Project Details


We propose to deploy Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) devices on underwater gliders in conjunction with the FASTNEt Shelf Exchange programme to detect and record the calls of several species of whale and dolphin. Using oceanographic and biochemical data collected under the FASTNEt programme and elsewhere, we propose to investigate the relationship between cetacean abundance and their environment at a fine spatial scale, thus increasing knowledge of the ecology of these high trophic level species and providing valuable new information for their conservation.

Layman's description

The project involves developing acoustic recording devices for installation on gliders to record sounds emitted by marine mammals. These sounds will be used as indicators for the presence of different marine mammal species, and these data will be combined with oceanographic data from the gliders and other sources to define preferred habitat for the different species. Most such projects in the past have been limited to data from the sea surface (usually obtained from satellite oceanography) and static data such as bathymetry. This project aims to include data from the full water column sampled in situ by the gliders.

Key findings

Two miniature DTAG-based sound recorders have been developed for this project. A recorder was installed in a Seaglider for a test deployment in November. Results from this deployment were reported in a phone conference with FastNet collaborators. Several more deployments are currently being collected or analyzed.
AcronymMonitoring Marine Mammals
Effective start/end date1/04/121/10/16


  • NERC: £109,261.28

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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