Determining and quantifying components of an aquaculture soundscape

Craven, Andrea, Carton, Alexander G., McPherson, Craig, and McPherson, Geoff (2009) Determining and quantifying components of an aquaculture soundscape. Aquacultural Engineering, 41 (3). pp. 158-165.

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Abstract

Recirculating aquaculture systems have a unique anthropogenic-based soundscape which is characterized by the type of equipment utilized, the structural configuration of walls, tanks, equipment, the substrate the tanks are situated on and even the activities of the personnel operating the facility. The soundscape of recirculation facilities is inadequately understood and remains poorly characterized, although it is generally accepted that the dominant sounds found in such facilities are within the hearing range of fish. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soundscape in a recirculating aquaculture facility from an intra-tank perspective and determine how the soundscape is shaped by a range of characteristics within the facility. Sounds were recorded across an operating aquaculture facility including different tank designs. The sounds recorded fell within previously measured pressure level ranges for recirculating systems, with the highest maximum sound pressure level (SPL) recorded at 124 dB re 1 mPa2/Hz (with an FFT bin width of 46.9 Hz, centered at 187.5 Hz). The soundscape within the tanks was stratified and positively correlated with depth, the highest sound pressure occurring at the base of the tanks. Each recording of the soundscape was dominated by a frequency component of 187.5 Hz (corresponding centre of the 4th 46.9 Hz FFT analysis bin) that produced the highest observed SPL. Analysis of sound recordings revealed that this peak SPL was associated with the acoustic signature of the pump. The soundscape was also evaluated for impacts of tank hood position, time of day, transient sounds and airstone particle size types, all of which were found to appreciably influence sound levels and structure within the tank environment. This study further discusses the distinctiveness of the soundscape, how it is shaped by the various operating components and considers the aquaculture soundscape in relation to natural soundscapes found within aquatic tropical environments.

Item ID: 5511
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: soundscape, recirculation, frequency, aquaculture, sound pressure level, fish
ISSN: 1873-5614
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2009 23:02
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 50%
09 ENGINEERING > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091301 Acoustics and Noise Control (excl Architectural Acoustics) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830199 Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 60%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8399 Other Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 839901 Animal Welfare @ 40%
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