Rendell, L.E., Monker, H., Gillespie, D. & Gordon, J. (1997) Preliminary results of an acoustic survey in the southern Pacific Ocean conducted from the M.V. Arctic Sunrise. Paper SC/49/SH24 presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.
Automated equipment was used to conduct an acoustic survey from a platform of opportunity, the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise during a passage across the southern Pacific Ocean. The use of acoustics permitted around the clock survey efoort and the automation of data collection meant the work could be carried out easily by a single crew member.
A twin element hydrophone array (200Hz - 24kHz) was towed 200m behind the vessel and recordings made onto DAT at regular intervals. The resultant tapes were then analysed onshore. Preliminary results are presented here.
During the passage, sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were detected on four occasions, and whistles were detected on 12 occasions. Ship noise was a problem, 45% of the recordings made being too noisy for analysis. Estimates of minimum detection ranges for sperm whales were between 2.6 and 9.6km.
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