Real-time reporting of baleen whale passive acoustic detections from ocean gliders

TitleReal-time reporting of baleen whale passive acoustic detections from ocean gliders
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBaugmartner, Mark F., Fratantoni David M., Hurst Thomas P., Brown Moira W., Cole Tim V. N., Van Parijs Sofie M., and Johnson Mark
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
EndNote Rec Number10295

In the past decade, much progress has been made in real-time passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal occurrence and distribution from autonomous platforms (e.g., gliders, floats, buoys), but current systems focus primarily on a single call type produced by a single species, often from a single location. A hardware and software system was developed to detect, classify, and report 14 call types produced by 4 species of baleen whales in real time from ocean gliders. During a 3 week deployment in the central Gulf of Maine in late November and early December 2012, two gliders reported over 25 000 acoustic detections attributed to fin, humpback, sei, and right whales. The overall false detection rate for individual calls was 14%, and for right, humpback, and fin whales, false predictions of occurrence during 15min reporting periods were 5% or less. Transmitted pitch tracks-compact representations of sounds-allowed unambiguous identification of both humpback and fin whale song. Of the ten cases when whales were sighted during aerial or shipboard surveys and a glider was within 20km of the sighting location, nine were accompanied by real-time acoustic detections of the same species by the glider within ±12 h of the sighting time.