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Ferry noise impacts (2012-2014)

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Field study news

pilot-whales.org currently participates in a field study investigating underwater noise impacts of fast and high-speed ferries crossing the waters between the Canary islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. The field study is conducted by M.E.E.R. e.V.(...here...) and is being financed by the Heinz Sielmann Foundation (...here...) and 30 Millions d'Amis (...here...).


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Sound examples of underwater
noise generated by fast and
high-speed ferries and a whale
watching vessel (...here...)



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TV broadcast produced by 30 Millions d'Amis
dealing with vessel-whale collisions at
France 3 on 01.12.12 (...pdf...)

Movie (...here...)



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Results presented as a poster during the 2013
conference of the ECS in Setubal, Portugal (...pdf...)



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Results presented as a scientific document during the 2013
conference of the International Whaling Commission in Jeju,
Republic of Korea (...pdf...)



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The aims of the project are:

1) Assessment of the frequency compositions and noise intensities of underwater sound produced by fast and high-speed ferries

2) Comparison of noise characteristics with the communication systems of affected cetacean species in the area

3) Assessment of potential masking effects with vocal modalities of affected whale and dolphin species in the area

4) Discussion of the results with respect to conservation-orientated regulations

5) Public relations

The measurement of ship noise is an integral research activity in the framework of vessel-whale collisions and has been identified by the International Whaling Commission as a research and management topic. In the past, collisions between ferries and cetaceans have become a serious threat to the local whales and dolphins in the Canaries. Next to others, short-finned pilot whales are just one species which are being regularly affected.




Next to ferry noise, short-finned pilot whales are the main target species of the local whale watching industry. They are daily confronted with underwater noise disturbance of whale watching vessels (...learn more...).