A new set of drifting deep-sea acoustic sensors will help researchers learn more about elusive beaked whales.
NOAA scientists plan to deploy 20 buoys 300 miles off the coast that will be suspended 330 feet below the surface. The buoys are equipped with listening devices that will record whale vocalizations over a period of 20 days. They’re expected to drift about 100-200 miles over the course of the survey.
“The great advantage of the buoys is that their collective 400 days at sea is like increasing our ship effort by a factor of 10 with very little increase in cost,” Jay Barlow, co-chief scientist of the survey, said in a news release.
The Cuvier’s beaked whale population is estimated to have declined from 10,700 individuals in 1981 to 7,500 in 2008, though researchers aren’t sure what’s causing the decline. The data collected during this survey will help researchers better understand these whales in order to implement better protection efforts.
To learn more:
- Read the news release: Whales might be hidden, but these new buoys can help find them
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