Ocean Noise

Southern Resident killer whale monitoring on San Juan Island

October 13, 2018

This summer, from mid-July to the end of September, we studied southern resident killer whale behavior under varying levels of boat and ship traffic. (This is an extension of our 2017 field season with OrcaSound). The Port of Vancouver has asked ships to slow down to less than 11 knots as they transit Haro Strait. Reducing […]

Please help us keep orca habitats clean, quiet, and full of fish

September 20, 2018

    The critically endangered southern resident killer whale population now numbers 74 individuals. The ability of the population to recover is hindered by a perfect storm of threats—not enough salmon, too much noise, and toxic chemicals affecting calf survival—but lack of access to salmon is at the eye of that storm. We need to […]

Which raindrop caused the flood?

April 30, 2016

A lot of the research our charity, Oceans Initiative, conducts is to see how human activities — all of them — affect marine wildlife, both in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The iconic orca we study illustrate this problem well. According to the latest census by Center for Whale Research, the population is hovering at 84 individuals. […]

Quiet(er) Marine Protected Areas

September 25, 2015

    Sound is as important to marine mammals as vision is to us.  Our new research, published open access in Marine Pollution Bulletin, has mapped areas that are important to 10 marine mammal species in BC, and overlaid those maps with maps of chronic ocean noise from shipping.  Most studies of this kind focus on […]

Co-founder wins prestigious Pew Fellowship to protect whales

February 24, 2015

We’ve been making a lot of noise about ocean noise for years.  Today, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Marine Fellows Program announced that they’re listening.  Our co-founder, Dr Rob Williams, won a 3-year Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. He will use the award to expand his studies of impacts of ocean noise on whale, fish, and the interactions […]

It’s a fish-eat-fish world: does noise affect them?

February 17, 2015

We’re so grateful for this week’s special guest post from Inge van der Knaap, a Erasmus Mundus Master’s student in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. Inge and her assistant, Sofya Reger, recently completed a beautiful experiment on noise and fish in collaboration with Salmon Coast Field Station.  Inge produced a great video introducing people to her study. […]

Happy Valentine’s Day! Show some love for the ocean

February 15, 2015

Valentine’s day can be a pretty lonely time for many people.  Every day seems to be a lonely one for the whale in the North Pacific that sings at a unique frequency — 52 Hz — that no other whale uses to communicate. Researchers and Navy submariners have been listening to this oddball whale for decades, but […]

Saving the whales by saving their habitat

November 09, 2014

It’s not rocket science. Much of the work we do involves conserving whale & dolphin populations by identifying the habitats most critical to their survival, and keeping the habitat quiet, and full of fish. We’ve published extensively on the value of Marine Protected Areas to survival of endangered killer whale populations.  This week, we’re thrilled to […]