[MARMAM] New publication: Recreational vessels without Automatic Identification System (AIS) dominate anthropogenic noise contributions to a shallow water soundscape (Hermannsen et al. 2019)

Line Hermannsen line.hermannsen at gmail.com
Tue Oct 29 05:52:24 PDT 2019

Dear all,

We are happy to announce that the following paper is now published in
Scientific Reports:

Hermannsen, L., Mikkelsen, L., Tougaard, J., Beedholm, K., Johnson, M. and
P.T. Madsen, “*Recreational vessels without Automatic Identification System
(AIS) dominate anthropogenic noise contributions to a shallow water
soundscape*”, Scientific Reports (2019) 9:15.477.

In this paper, we conduct a case study correlating vessel presence to
ambient noise levels in a shallow coastal area. The results show that
recreational boats without AIS dominate the soundscape, including at
frequencies that may impact harbour porpoises. We therefore emphasise the
importance of accounting for recreational boats, in particular in shallow
coastal waters, to not underestimate vessel noise loads and the impacts on
marine species.

To accompany this paper and to help improve models of vessel noise
emissions, we have also published the recordings and theodolite tracks of
46 motorised recreational boats, divided into different boat types at
zenodo.org (10.5281/zenodo.3465461).


Recreational boating is an increasing activity in coastal areas and its
spatiotemporal overlap with key habitats of marine species pose a risk for
negative noise impacts. Yet, recreational vessels are currently unaccounted
for in vessel noise models using Automatic Identification System (AIS)
data. Here we conduct a case study investigating noise contributions from
vessels with and without AIS (non-AIS) in a shallow coastal area within the
Inner Danish waters. By tracking vessels with theodolite and AIS, while
recording ambient noise levels, we find that non-AIS vessels have a higher
occurrence (83%) than AIS vessels, and that motorised recreational vessels
can elevate third-octave band noise centred at 0.125, 2 and 16 kHz by 47–51
dB. Accordingly, these vessels dominated the soundscape in the study site
due to their high numbers, high speeds and proximity to the coast.
Furthermore, recreational vessels caused 49–85% of noise events potentially
eliciting behavioural responses in harbour porpoises (AIS vessels caused
5–24%). We therefore conclude that AIS data would poorly predict vessel
noise pollution and its impacts in this and other similar marine
environments. We suggest to improve vessel noise models and impact
assessments by requiring that faster and more powerful recreational vessels
carry AIS-transmitters.

*Link to full text*: www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-51222-9

Best regards,


*Line Hermannsen, PhD*

Postdoctoral fellow at Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark

Phone: (+45) 22 82 56 61

Email: lihe at bios.au.dk

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