Development of passive acoustic tracking systems to investigate tooth whale interactions with fishing gear

McPherson, Geoffrey R., Clague, Chris, Turner, Phillip, McPherson, Craig R., Madry, Andrew, Bedwell, Ian, and Cato, Doug H. (2004) Development of passive acoustic tracking systems to investigate tooth whale interactions with fishing gear. In: Proceedings of the 2004 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society. pp. 291-296. From: 2004 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society, 3-5 November 2004, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

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Depredation (=stealing) by toothed whale species of Coral Sea tuna longline catches threatens the viability of the fishery through direct removal of bait and hooked fish and behavioural modification of the target fish species. The false killer whales and short-finned pilot whales responsible for depredation on longline catches generate frequency modulated communication whistles, time constant broadband burst-pulses with a possible emotional context, and time variable broadband echolocation trains used in hunting. All vocalisations offer potential for passive acoustic tracking. A range of methods is being developed to mitigate depredation including acoustic, mechanical and chemical approaches. To assess the effectiveness of these methods, an integrated passive acoustic tracking system to determine movement trajectories of toothed whales relative to longline gear is under development for use in oceanic situations. A real-time tracking system for broadband clicks using a small aperture Mills Cross array to obtain an initial azimuth to source, is being integrated with a post-processing, wide aperture sonobuoy system for all vocalisations to obtain localisation in three dimensions. Data obtained from the small aperture array showed that comparable azimuth estimates were obtained for inshore toothed whales using both tracking systems. Trials over wide areas in oceanic conditions with larger arrays (1.5-1,000 m) to determine 3 dimensional trajectories, are yet to commence.

Item ID: 7554
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-909882-22-8
ISSN: 1446-0998
Keywords: depredation; long line fisheries; passive tracking; toothed whale; ultrasonic localisation
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Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2010 03:09
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090699 Electrical and Electronic Engineering not elsewhere classified @ 80%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070499 Fisheries Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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