[MARMAM] new paper on the effect of two deep water ocean mapping surveys on beaked whale behavior

Hilary Kates Varghese hkatesvarghese at ccom.unh.edu
Wed Jun 17 08:29:43 PDT 2020

Dear MARMAM community,


On behalf of my coauthors, I am pleased to announce the publication of our
work on the effect of two deep-water (12 kHz) multibeam echosounder
surveys-used for ocean mapping-on Cuvier's beaked whale foraging behavior in
southern California.


Please find the article, "The effect of two 12 kHz multibeam mapping surveys
on the foraging behavior of Cuvier's beaked whales off of southern
California," on The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America website:



The impact of multibeam echosounder (MBES) operations on marine mammals has
been less studied compared to military sonars. To contribute to the growing
body of MBES knowledge, echolocation clicks of foraging Cuvier's beaked
whales were detected on the Southern California Antisubmarine Warfare Range
(SOAR) hydrophones during two MBES surveys and assembled into foraging
events called group vocal periods (GVPs). Four GVP characteristics were
analyzed Before, During, and After 12 kHz MBES surveys at the SOAR in 2017
and 2019 to assess differences in foraging behavior with respect to the
mapping activity. The number of GVP per hour increased During and After MBES
surveys compared with Before. There were no other differences between
non-MBES and MBES periods for the three other characteristics: the number of
clicks per GVP, GVP duration, and click rate. These results indicate that
there was not a consistent change in foraging behavior during the MBES
surveys that would suggest a clear response. The animals did not leave the
range nor stop foraging during MBES activity. These results are in stark
contrast to those of analogous studies assessing the effect of Naval
mid-frequency active sonar on beaked whale foraging, where beaked whales
stopped echolocating and left the area.



Thank you,


Hilary Kates Varghese

PhD Candidate


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

University of New Hampshire

24 Colovos Rd. Durham, NH 03824 USA

hkatesvarghese at ccom.unh.edu


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