[MARMAM] New Publication: Habitat Modelling on the Potential Impacts of Shipping Noise on Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in Offshore Irish Waters off the Porcupine Ridge (Kavya Ramesh)

Kavya Ramesh kavya.r128 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 24 03:44:30 PST 2021

Dear all,

My co-authors and I have recently published our paper in the Journal of
Marine Science and Engineering (JMSE). https://www.mdpi.com/1341844

Ramesh, K.; Berrow, S.; Meade, R.; O’Brien, J. Habitat Modelling on the
Potential Impacts of Shipping Noise on Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus)
in Offshore Irish Waters off the Porcupine Ridge. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021,
9, 1207. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9111207

Little is known about the ecological importance of fin whales found
year-round in southwestern offshore Irish waters. Understanding their
ecology is important to reduce potential harm through any spatio-temporal
overlap with commercial shipping and fishing activities. This study
explored the potential environmental drivers and impacts of low-frequency
shipping noise on fin whale calling at Porcupine Ridge using the
presence/absence of call detections as a proxy for observed changes due to
possible masking. Acoustic call data was collected at a low sampling rate
(2 ksps) from the end of March 2016 to June 2016 (97 days) using a
bottom-moored autonomous acoustic recorder with an omni-directional
hydrophone. The high zero-inflated and binary nature of the data was
addressed using generalised linear models. The results of our habitat
modelling predicted call detections to increase significantly during
night-time (p ≤ 0.01) with sea surface height and chlorophyll-a
concentration (p ≤ 0.01), implying higher prey availability may occur on
Porcupine Ridge. It also indicated a significant decrease in call
detections with increasing shipping noise (p ≤ 0.01). Unfortunately, the
model had a type II error. To provide robust results, a longer study not
limited by data on the prey, and oceanographic drivers including spatial
and temporal parameters is required. This study provides the foundations on
which further ecological data could be added to establish management and
mitigation measures to minimize the effects of shipping noise on fin whales.

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Kind regards,
Kavya Ramesh (She/Her) | Community Engagement and Partnerships
Cyan Planet - XR for ocean protection
Graduate of International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources
*http://www.imbrsea.eu/ <http://www.imbrsea.eu/>*
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