VENUS hydrophones going deeper, reporting more

Thanks to Jim Cummings of the Acoustic Ecology Institute, some news caught my ear in this article from the Times Colonist on the hydrophones deployed off the Fraser River delta.  There’s also a good bit of supposition without much science to back it up…

The key news I gleaned is that the hydrophones will be moved in a couple weeks from 170m depth to 300m.  I also was happy to learn that someone at VENUS (Richard Dewey) appears to be paying attention to the issue of noise pollution from the perspective of the southern resident killer whales.  Indeed, it seems he’s got a bit of a publicity campaign started.  He’s been on Canadian radio (CBC’s BC Almanac) talking about the hydrophones and has posted a nice YouTube video about underwater ship noise and potential impacts on orcas.

Listen to:  an excerpt with only the hydrophone portion of the broadcast; the full BC Almanac podcast (45 min including other news).

It will be great if they publish some of their work soon, or put a few more recordings in their research highlight section of their web site.  In the video they suggest they may be observing amplitude compensation at increased levels of ship noise, which they could accomplish by localizing calls with their calibrated array.  For now, you can at least listen in (nearly live) and browse the many hours of ship noise.  Checking again on their website, I’m also pleased to see they are now reporting occasionally on interesting acoustic events:

http://venus.uvic.ca/data/data-plots/strait-of-georgia-plots/sog-east-highlights-hydrophone/whale-sounds/

2 Responses to VENUS hydrophones going deeper, reporting more

  1. May 2011 update: No hydrophones are in the water as the southern residents head north this evening into Georgia Strait. It’s always a bit hard to figure out what’s working or not on the Venus line, but here’s a link to a somewhat helpful table of sampling periods for all the instruments:

    http://venus.uvic.ca/discover-venus/what-is-venus/instruments/instrument-sample-periods/

    Search for hydrophone and you’ll get a pretty good sense for when and how often the near-real time data has been available. Only the Central node is in the water at the moment, but it doesn’t currently host a hydrophone…

    Sampling period synopsis (again, as of 5/2011):

    Strait of Georgia – Central Node:
    hydrophone 1
    24/09/2008-??

    Strait of Georgia – East Node:

    IOS3HYDARR02 Hydrophone Hyd-01
    04/04/2008-23/09/2008
    Hyd-02
    13/02/2009-31/03/2009
    Hyd-03
    27/09/2009-??

    Saanich Inlet (where orcas never go):
    hydrophone 1 –
    14/03/2006-08/08/2008
    hydrophone 2 —
    01/02/2007-09/07/2007

  2. Here’s a new, hopefully more persistent link to the live audio feeds:

    http://venus.uvic.ca/data/live-audio/

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