Anthropogenic Noise

This project studies anthropogenic noise in the marine environment and potential effects on marine life including fish and invertebrates. This research is contributing to ongoing industry-funded research, towards identifying potential effects of anthropogenic noise and mitigating concerns between the oil and gas, fishing, and aquaculture industries.

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Soundscape information is being collected for analysis including natural ambient sounds and anthropogenic noise including vessels and seismic exploration activity along Canada’s continental shelf region. In addition to field observations that are recording natural soundscapes, we are conducting laboratory experiments on fish species located on both the east and west coast of Canada. We are conducting behavioural choice experiments, sound auditions from various species, and measurement of potential physiological effects. On the east coast, species of particular interests are snow crab, Atlantic cod, and redfish. On the west coast, we are focusing on salmon, sablefish and rockfish.

Project Deliverables / Achievements

  • Acquisition of hydrophone and exposition tanks and development of vessel noise exposition method to estimate feeding impact on zooplankton species is completed.

  • Calibration of vessel noise level is completed.

  • The preliminary laboratory experiments to test the behavioural and physiological effects of noise on 2 intertidal species, the intertidal sculpin and the midshipman has begun.

  • Optimizing of the method for localizing fish sounds using a compact 6-hydrophone array is ongoing.

  • Experiments of the effects of low-frequency anthropogenic vessel noise on the feeding behaviour of different zooplankton species (rotifers, copepods, bivalve veligers and post-larvae) and on the live food (microalgae) are ongoing.

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Bowie Seamount