Acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) are used in attempts to mitigate pinniped depredation on aquaculture sites through the emission of loud and pervasive noise. This study quantified spatio-temporal changes in underwater ADD noise detections along western Scotland over 11 years. Acoustic point data (‘listening events’) collected during cetacean line-transect surveys were used to map ADD presence between 2006 and 2016. A total of 19,601 listening events occurred along the Scottish west coast, and ADD presence was recorded during 1,371 listening events. Results indicated a steady increase in ADD detections from 2006 (0.05%) to 2016 (6.8%), with the highest number of detections in 2013 (12.6%), as well as substantial geographic expansion. This study demonstrates that ADDs are a significant and chronic source of underwater noise on the Scottish west coast with potential adverse impacts on target (pinniped) and non-target (e.g. cetaceans) species, which requires further study and improved monitoring and regulatory strategies.
- underwater noise
- noise pollution
- Acoustic deterrent devices
- Marine mammals
Findlay, C., Ripple, H., Coomber, F., Froud, K., Harries, O., van Geel, C. F., Calderan, S., Benjamins, S., Risch, D., & Wilson, B. (2018). Mapping widespread and increasing underwater noise pollution from acoustic deterrent devices. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 135, 1042-1050. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.08.042, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.08.042