HABITAT MODELLING TO ANALYSE THE IMPACTS OF SHIPPING NOISE ON THE DEEP DIVING CETACEANS (BLUE, FIN AND SPERM WHALES) ALONG THE IRISH SHELF EDGE.

Student: 
Kavya Ramesh
Room: 
room 2
session: 
Session 1, July 1, 09:00-10:30

The study was conducted as a part of monitoring underwater noise and its impacts on marine mammals according to descriptor the 11 of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as an increase in ambient noise in Irish waters by 15-20 dB was observed in last four decades. Habitat modelling using generalized linear models (GLMs) with presence-absence data of the endangered species, blue, fin and sperm whales in the presence of shipping noise, collected at a depth of 1765 m using Static Acoustic Monitoring (SAM) method with Autonomous Multichannel Acoustic Recorders (AMAR) (JASCO Applied Sciences) from March to June 2016. GLMs showed a habitat preferential with high chlorophyll-a concentration and temporal variability for fin whales as well as a higher presence at night to forage. Statistically significant reduction in presence of all three species was observed in the presence of shipping noise. Long term impacts of shipping noise would lead to various behavioural disruptions with energy compensation compromising important biological functions such as feeding and breeding. Hence, it is important to monitor the region for longer period to identify critical habitats to protect the endangered species.