INCORPORATING PASSIVE ACOUSTIC MONITORING DATA INTO OBIS-SEAMAP: A STRATEGY TO ENHANCE MARINE MAMMAL CONSERVATION
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Over 60 species of marine mammals reside in United States waters. Assessing each marine mammal stock in the United States is a lengthy, expensive, and complicated task. The use of new technologies, such as passive acoustic monitoring, could help to improve marine mammal survey efforts and decrease data fragmentation. Passive acoustics are particularly useful for monitoring cetaceans in remote areas or in periods of poor weather or darkness. OBIS-SEAMAP, a web-based archive of geo-referenced marine mammal, sea turtle, and sea bird datasets, has established a passive acoustic monitoring initiative as a strategy to enhance marine mammal conservation. The initiative will integrate acoustic data into the archive, which currently contains data collected from traditional visual surveys and telemetry. Acoustic methods can improve the ability to detect and monitor many deep-diving, highly migratory, and cryptic marine mammal species (Burtenshaw et al, 2004). However, challenges associated with geographical representation of acoustic recordings need to be addressed prior to data integration into OBIS-SEAMAP. This paper aims to identify some of these difficulties, including localizing cetaceans spatially in two and three dimensions, species identification, and encouraging collaborative participation from marine mammal researchers. Recommendations have been made to improve data collection methods and the process of incorporating acoustic data into SEAMAP.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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