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Eavesdropping on Whales

Eavesdropping on Whales

January 17, 2017

Retrieving a mooring off Nomans Land, an island near Martha’s Vineyard, are (from left) WHOI engineering assistants Steve Murphy and Jeff Pietro, and Tioga crew member Ian Hanley. The mooring was equipped with a WHOI-developed digital acoustic monitoring (DMON) instrument running software developed by WHOI biologist Mark Baumgartner. Underwater microphones, or hydrophones, on DMON listen for whale sounds and transmit information in near real time via satellite to Baumgartner’s lab where the data are posted to a website and analyzed by NOAA acoustician Julianne Gurnee. Scientists, regulators, and the Coast Guard are automatically notified about the presence of humpback, fin, sei, and North Atlantic right whales to help reduce impacts on whales from marine industrial activities such as shipping. (Photo by Matthew Barton, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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