[MARMAM] New Publication

Adam Frankel adam.frankel at marineacoustics.com
Thu Nov 30 06:40:00 PST 2017

Hello MARMAM community,

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce our recent publication in
Endangered Species Research:

Frankel, A. S. and C. M. Gabriele (2017). "Predicting the acoustic exposure of humpback whales from cruise and tour vessel noise in Glacier Bay, Alaska, under different management strategies." Endangered Species Research 34: 397-415.  https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00857 <https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00857>

Vessel traffic management regimes intended to protect baleen whales can have un-
expected consequences on whale exposure to underwater noise. Using the Acoustic Integration
Model, we simulated whale and vessel movements in Glacier Bay National Park (GBNP). We esti-
mated vessel noise exposures to humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae while varying the
number, speed (13 vs. 20 knots [kn]), and timing of cruise ships, and keeping a constant number,
speed, and timing of smaller tour vessels. Using calibrated noise signatures for each vessel and the
known sound velocity profile and bathymetry of Glacier Bay, we estimated received sound levels
for each simulated whale every 15 s in a 24 h period. Simulations with fast ships produced the
highest maximal sound pressure level (MSPL) and cumulative sound exposure levels (CSEL).
Ships travelling at 13 kn produced CSEL levels 3 times lower than those traveling at 20 kn. We
demonstrated that even in cases where a ship is only a few dB quieter at a slower speed, CSEL is
lower, but the ship’s transit may take substantially longer. Synchronizing ship arrival times had lit-
tle effect on CSEL or MSPL but appreciably decreased cumulative sound exposure time (CSET).
Overall, our results suggest that the most effective way to reduce humpback whale acoustic expo-
sure in GBNP is to reduce the numbers of cruise ships or their speed, although adjusting ship
schedules may also be beneficial. Marine protected area managers may find these results illustra-
tive or adapt these methods to better understand the acoustic effects of specific vessel manage-
ment circumstances.

KEY WORDS: Acoustic propagation · Vessel noise · Chronic exposure · Management ·
Cumulative effects · Marine Protected Area


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