Research Area: Environment

Spatial and temporal analyses of marine mammal vocalizations using unmanned systems

Project Number:
Project Duration: 01.01.2019 - 01.01.2021


Ana Sofia Aniceto

Project manager:

Raul Primicerio E-mail: raul.primicerio@uit.no


Main objective:
Study the ecology of sea mammals in the Lofoten and Vesterålen area in Northern Norway using hydrophone data collected with marine autonomous vehicles and subsea observatory.

Detailed knowledge of species habitat requirements is essential for effective biodiversity conservation and management. However, our knowledge of the spatial ecology of many species inhabiting Norwegian waters is often very limited. Unmanned marine technology can facilitate systematic data acquisition, perform surveys at relatively low cost, and address operational safety concerns. The ability of such vehicles to collect multidisciplinary data further strengthens these capabilities.  

Through this project we will deliver advances in whale ecology and knowledge of the qualities and limitations of unmanned systems. This will be done by using oceanic gliders and submarine observatories equipped with multidisciplinary sensors to combine biological and environmental data.

We will map and model the spatio-temporal distribution of vocalizing whale species (I), examine overlaps with representative prey types (fish, plankton,) (II) and habitat features (temperature, depth, distance to shore and continental slope) (III); while quantifying ambient noise levels attributable to anthropogenic activities (e.g., shipping) for an assessment of possible overlaps between whale presence and maritime industrial activities (IV).

Ultimately, this project can be used as a test case of autonomous systems’ capabilities for ecosystem monitoring along the Norwegian coast and continental slope with a focus on top predator foraging habitat requirements.  

PostDoc: Ana Sofia Aniceto

Drammensveien 78 · NO-0271 OSLO · NORWAY
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E-mail: vista@dnva.no