[MARMAM] New publication: Underwater noise and whales in South African waters

Fannie Shabangu fannie.shabangu at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 23 03:23:31 PDT 2022

Dear MARMAM Colleagues
On behalf on my co-authors, I am excited to announce the publication of our latest paper that investigated the sources of underwater noise and the effects of underwater noise on the probability of detecting whale calls off the west coast of South Africa:

Shabangu FW, Yemane D, Best G, and Estabrook BJ (2022). Acoustic detectability of whales amidst underwater noise off the west coast of South Africa. Marine Pollution Bulletin 184: 114122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114122
Anthropogenic underwater noise has been shown to negatively affect marine organisms globally; yet little to no noise research has been conducted in most African waters including South Africa's. This study aimed to quantitatively describe sources of underwater noise and effects of underwater noise on the acoustic detectability of Antarctic blue, fin, minke, humpback, and sperm whales off South Africa's west coast. Noise from vessel traffic (<35 km to the location of recorders) dominated the soundscape below 500 Hz while wind-generated noise increased with wind speed above 5 m s-1 and dominated the soundscape above 500 Hz. Acoustic detectability of humpback, minke and sperm whales decreased with increasing ambient noise levels whereas blue and fin whale acoustic detectability increased with the ambient noise levels. We provide baseline information on underwater noise sources and the effects of underwater noise on whale acoustic detectability off the west coast of South Africa.
This paper is open access and can be freely downloaded at: https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0025-326X(22)00804-9. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments on the paper.

Kind regards,Fannie
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Fannie W. Shabangu, PhD (he/him)
Marine BiologistDepartment of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
Cape Town, South Africa
Mobile: +27 74 220 0210
Tel: +27 21 402 3553E-mail addresses: fshabangu at dffe.gov.za; fannie.shabangu at yahoo.com

Research Fellow
Mammal Research InstituteWhale Unit
University of PretoriaHatfield, South Africa

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