Human Impacts

SHIPS PASS IN THE NIGHT

March 03, 2014

  Killer whales depend on a quiet ocean to navigate, find food and choose mates.  Much of our work with acousticians at Cornell involves estimating how much acoustic habitat whales are losing from chronic, rising levels of noise.  Here’s a simple animation that describes that work. In addition to masking the whales’ calls, animals can […]

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF HARO STRAIT AND DOUGLAS CHANNEL

November 12, 2013

We recently published a paper reporting ocean noise levels in important whale habitats along the BC coast.  At the same time, we released an animation that outlined the key concepts.  Our research showed that the most important habitats for killer whales were the noisiest; important habitats for humpback whales were comparatively quiet. We thought you […]

Secret to a Sound Ocean

October 23, 2013

[vsw id=”77623625″ source=”vimeo” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”] Sound is as important to whales as vision is to humans. Our scientific research (with Chris Clark and Dimitri Ponirakis at Cornell University’s Bioacoustics Research Program) is measuring how noisy or quiet important habitats are to fin, humpback and killer whales in British Columbia, Canada, and how we think […]

Our 12 wishes for the ocean on 12.12.12

December 12, 2012

I woke up this morning and decided that everyone gets twelve wishes today! Ta-da! Here are ours. 1.  Quiet oceans for whales, dolphins and all marine life.  You can help make this a reality.  Please vote here to support our Quiet Oceans Campaign.  It’s easy to vote and you’re welcome to vote once per day! […]

PUTTING OCEAN NOISE ON THE MAP

November 04, 2012

We recently partnered with two acousticians, Christine Erbe of Curtin University and Alex MacGillivray of JASCO, to predict how BC’s waters sound to a whale.  Using shipping traffic data compiled by Patrick O’Hara (which we used previously in a ship strike analysis for fin, humpback and killer whales), and making some assumptions about how noisy […]

WHERE THE WHALES (AND WHALE RESEARCHERS) ARE

September 12, 2012

  Rob and his colleagues published a neat new paper today in the open access journal, PLOS ONE.  The paper, led by Dr Kristin Kaschner at the University of Freiburg, examined >1100 estimates of the abundance of whales, dolphins and porpoises reported in more than 400 surveys conducted worldwide between 1975 and 2005. It is […]

Whale stranding in Scotland

September 11, 2012

Recently (2 September 2012), 26 pilot whales stranded on the beach about a mile from the place where we’re staying in Anstruther, Scotland.  The whales came ashore just a few feet from the coastal path where we run with our dog, Wishart.  Pilot whales are normally found in deeper water, so this was highly unusual […]

Happy World Oceans Day! The Secret to a Sound Ocean

June 08, 2012

The Secret to a Sound Ocean Oceans Initiative is a team of scientists on a mission to protect whales, dolphins and their habitat. To celebrate World Oceans Day, we’re releasing the main findings from our Ocean Noise project. Our clever friends at Column Five Media have helped us turn our cutting-edge acoustics research with Cornell […]

TELLING STORIES IN THE DARK

May 31, 2012

One of the overarching themes of our work is quintessentially Canadian.  We study survival.  {Margaret Atwood proposed that survival is one of the most central and enduring narratives in Canadian literature.} OK, we study the probability that whales and dolphins, not humans, will survive from one year to the next, given the amount of fish […]

OCEAN NOISE: KEY FACTOR IN THE STATE OF THE SALISH SEA

April 19, 2012

Larry Pynn is publishing a special, six-part series on the State of the Salish Sea.  We are happy for our work to be included. His piece on 18 April addresses an issue that resonates with us:  using hydrophones [underwater microphones] to measure ocean noise levels, while simultaneously collecting information on whale presence.  We are a […]