[MARMAM] New Publication: Snapshots in time: quantifying dynamics of coastal vessel traffic in a dolphin hotspot

William Carome william.carome at gmail.com
Tue Nov 21 14:23:49 PST 2023

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of a paper
quantifying the dynamics of vessel traffic in a dolphin hotspot using an
automated camera system in New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater
Research. The citation and abstract are given below and the full .pdf is
available via open access at:

Carome, W., Rayment, W., Slooten, E., Bowman, M. H., Martinez, E., &
Dawson, S. M. (2023). Snapshots in time: quantifying dynamics of coastal
vessel traffic in a dolphin hotspot. *New Zealand Journal of Marine and
Freshwater Research*, 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/00288330.2023.2261872

Small vessels contribute substantially to coastal soundscapes, presenting
myriad potential impacts on marine species and ecosystems, yet are
challenging to monitor using standard tracking methods (e.g. AIS). Here, we
present an automated camera system developed to quantify coastal vessel
traffic in a core habitat for Hector’s dolphins (*Cephalorhynchus hectori*)
within Akaroa Harbour, Aotearoa New Zealand. Analysis of 55,569 images
taken during the austral summer of 2019/20 showed that traffic was highest
around midday, on weekends, and in January. A mean of 41.9 vessel trips per
day transited the area of core habitat. Vessel speeds estimated from
photographs were assigned to 5-knot bins with 84% accuracy. Findings
suggest vessel traffic in Akaroa Harbour has approximately doubled between
2006–2008 and 2020. Additionally, tours focused specifically on dolphins
composed a significantly larger proportion of vessel traffic in 2020 than
observed during 2006–2008. We validate the use of an automated camera
system as a robust, novel, repeatable, and cost-effective tool for
quantifying fluctuations in coastal vessel traffic. Such tools can provide
baseline data and help assess impacts, and their use can guide management

You are very welcome to contact me (william.carome at gmail.com) with any

Ngā mihi,

Will Carome

William Carome
MSc, Marine Science | Ōtākou Whakaihu Waka | University of Otago
william.carome at gmail.com | +64 20 494 2658
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