Use acoustic devices on moving vessels
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
With the aim of reducing collisions, acoustic devices may be mounted on the bow of moving vessels, such as ships, to deter marine and freshwater mammals. Although large vessels emit high levels of noise, there may be a quieter area or ‘acoustic shadow’ directly in front of vessels due to shielding of noise by the ship’s hull, and also at the water surface (Trevorrow & Vasiliev 2008). Acoustic devices may also be useful for deterring mammals from quieter vessels, such as sailing yachts. However, it should be noted that high amplitude acoustic devices may cause hearing damage to target and non-target mammal species, and may disrupt biologically important behaviour or exclude mammals from important habitats (Johnston 2002, Morton & Symonds 2002, Olesiuk et al. 2002, Götz & Janik 2013).
For an intervention that involves deploying acoustic devices from boats with the aim of reducing mammal entanglements and human-wildlife conflict at wild fisheries, see Use acoustic devices on fishing vessels. For studies that involve deploying acoustic devices from boats to deter mammals prior to construction activities, see Use acoustic devices to deter marine and freshwater mammals from an area to reduce noise exposure.
Götz T. & Janik V.M. (2013) Acoustic deterrent devices to prevent pinniped depredation: efficiency, conservation concerns and possible solutions. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 492, 285–302.
Johnston D.W. (2002) The effect of acoustic harassment devices on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Biological Conservation, 108, 113–118.
Morton A.B. & Symonds H.K. (2002) Displacement of Orcinus orca (L.) by high amplitude sound in British Columbia, Canada. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59, 71–80.
Olesiuk P.F., Nichol L.M., Sowden M.J. & Ford J.K.B. (2002) Effect of the sound generated by an acoustic harassment device on the relative abundance and distribution of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Retreat Passage, British Columbia. Marine Mammal Science, 18, 843–862.
Trevorrow M.V., Vasiliev B. & Vagle S. (2008) Directionality and maneuvering effects on a surface ship underwater acoustic signature. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124, 767–778.