Management and research applications of real-time and archival passive acoustic sensors over varying temporal and spatial scales

Sofie M. Van Parijs, Chris W. Clark, Renata S. Sousa-Lima, Susan E. Parks, Shannon Rankin, Denise Risch, Ilse C. Van Opzeeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

271 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: Defining the appropriate scale over which to conduct a study in the marine environment is critical to achieving appropriate scientific, management, mitigation and conservation objectives. This paper focuses on applications of passive acoustic technologies over a range of spatial and temporal scales. It is divided into sections dealing with archival and real-time passive acoustic sensor applications. Each section assesses the principles behind using the respective technology and pro- vides recent examples of research and management applications for marine mammals and fish. The section on archival sensors highlights the need for continued development of automated acoustic detectors to assess large data sets. Case studies are presented of detectors developed for determining seasonal occurrence and distribution of haddock sounds and humpback whale vocalizations. Also presented are studies of other applications using archival sensors: tracking singing humpback whales in Brazil, using vocalizations to assess the reproductive strategies of Arctic bearded seals and assessing regional variability in call patterns for North Atlantic right whales. The section on real-time passive acoustic sensors focuses on real-time buoys and towed arrays. Case studies presented include a real-time buoy system used for monitoring endangered North Atlantic right whales and a station- ary autonomous array providing real-time access to Antarctic acoustic data. The value of using towed arrays for real-time applications is also assessed, and a case study is provided on the use of towed arrays to improve abundance estimates of North Pacific cetaceans and to better understand vocaliza- tion behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalMarine Ecology-Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Archival arrays
  • Automated detection
  • Fish
  • Localization
  • Marine mammals
  • Mesoscale
  • Passive acoustics
  • Real-time buoys
  • Towed arrays


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