Will harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) habituate to pingers?

  • Published source details Cox T.M., Read A.J., Solow A. & Tregenza N. (2001) Will harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) habituate to pingers?. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 3, 81-86.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use acoustic devices on moorings

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Use acoustic devices on moorings

    A controlled study in 1998 at a pelagic site in the Bay of Fundy, Canada (Cox et al. 2001) found that an acoustic device attached to a mooring reduced harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena echolocation activity, but the probability of porpoises approaching within 125 m of the device increased over 10–11 days. The average rate of harbour porpoise echolocation clicks and the proportion of 10-second intervals in which clicks were recorded were lower when the acoustic device was active (82 clicks/30 minutes; 0.04 intervals) than when it was inactive (516 clicks/30 minutes; 0.17 intervals). The probability of porpoises approaching within 125 m of the device initially decreased after the device was activated, then increased to equal the control (device inactive) over 10–11 days (data reported as statistical model results). An acoustic device (Dukane NetMark 1000) was attached 10 m below the water surface to a mooring located 1 km offshore. In June–September 1998, two trials were carried out in which the device was turned off (silent) for 2 weeks and turned on (emitting regular pulses at 10 kHz) for 2–4 weeks. Porpoises were tracked within a 500 m radius of the mooring using a theodolite. An acoustic detector attached to the mooring recorded porpoise echolocation clicks during one of the two trials.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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