Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster V50

Noise in a changing ocean: a new threat to the elusive northern bottlenose whale?

Höfundar / Authors: Paul J. Wensveen

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Kynnir / Presenter: Paul Wensveen

Concerns over the effects of human-induced environmental changes on marine wildlife, including increasing levels of underwater noise, are rising, particularly in Arctic and subarctic regions. Noise is thought to be one of the main threats to the most common beaked whale in Icelandic waters, the northern bottlenose whale (Icelandic: andarnefja). However, due to their elusive nature, little is known about this species in Iceland and the Northeast Atlantic in general. The new project Noise In a Changing Ocean (NICO) aims to provide novel insights into northern bottlenose whales and evaluate the potential threat of anthropogenic noise disturbance to them by assessing 1) relative abundance and movement directions of these animals in waters east of Iceland (a potential stopover site and migration corridor), 2) movement, habitat use, behaviour and responses to noise in the Northeast Atlantic, and 3) overlap of impulsive anthropogenic noise with migration routes and habitat use. To achieve this, the project will use state-of-the-art observation technologies such as bottom-moored acoustic recorders, satellite tags and aerial drones, in combination with photo-identification and surface observations. This project will provide unprecedented information on the role of beaked whales in the Icelandic marine ecosystem and the potential effects of human-generated impulsive noise to sensitive species, with application to confamilial species and other human-induced environmental changes.