[MARMAM] New Publication

Adam Frankel adam.frankel at marineacoustics.com
Wed May 20 07:42:51 PDT 2020

We are pleased to announce the publication of our paper in Marine Mammal Science:

Gray whales hear and respond to signals from a 21–25 kHz active sonar
Adam S. Frankel and Peter J. Stein

Shore‐based theodolite tracking of eastern gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) movements was conducted to test for potential whale responses to a high‐frequency sonar system. Southbound migrating whales were observed from two California shore observation stations as the whales swam past the source vessel that was moored in their migration path. The sonar transducer was deployed from the vessel during all observations, broadcasting 21–25 kHz sweeps for half of each day, the other half remaining silent. The order of control and experimental periods was randomized. No readily apparent response to sonar transmissions was observed in the field or in the visual data. Statistical analysis of tracking data indicates that, compared to control data, gray whales deflected inshore at ranges of 1–2 km from the vessel during sonar transmissions at a received sound pressure level of approximately 148 dB re 1 μPa2 (134 dB re 1 μPa2s). These data suggest that the functional hearing sensitivity of gray whales extends to at least 21 kHz.

The paper is available at:

or PDFs can be requested from adam.frankel at marineacoustics.com


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