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Beaked Whale Passive Acoustic Monitoring Pilot Study


A pilot study to assess the feasibility of using Static Acoustic Monitoring (SAM) to survey beaked whales in slope and canyon habitats on the eastern slopes of the Rockall Trough was carried out between January and August 2011. The objectives of the project were to:

  • Assess the quality of the data obtained from the tested SAM devices.
  • Report on the analysis achieved and any analytical or methodological advancement made.
  • Assess the effectiveness of both devices in detecting deep-diving odontocetes (toothed whales).
  • Report on the ability to discriminate beaked whales from other odontocete species.
  • Report on ambient noise levels in the monitored habitat during the study period.
  • Assess the capability of CPODs to detect sperm whale clicks.
  • Report on revision of habitat model using new data sources and testing of model using project data.
  • Devise a proposed methodology and budget for follow-on 12 month monitoring programme.
  • Recommend the best technology to be employed in follow-on monitoring programme.
  • Report on technology and knowledge transfer achieved during the study.

This project was a partnership between the Irish whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the Bioacoustics Research Programme at Cornell University (USA), Chelonia Ltd. (Cornwall, UK), the Marine Institute, the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre at GMIT and GIS in Ecology (Glasgow, UK).


You can read the report in full here:

Beaked Whale Passive Acoustic Monitoring Pilot Study

Ireland Final Report - updated

An acoustic survey for beaked whales in the Rockall Trough