Listening to Leviathans: Sounds from the deep
Norwegian technology, courtesy of the 19th-century whaler Svend Foyn, played a critical role in establishing the modern era of industrial whaling.By the time the 1960s rolled around, most large whale populations hovered on the brink of extinction. Now, Norwegian researchers are testing new technologies so they can track and study these marine giants — and help protect them. This week, tapping into fibre-optic cables to eavesdrop on whales in a way that's never been done before— and how deploying a comprehensive library of whale dialects can help prevent ship-whale collisions in busy California shipping ports. This week's guests are Jennifer Bailey, a professor at NTNU's Department of Sociology and Political Science; Martin Landrø, a professor at NTNU's Department of Electronic Systems; Léa Bouffaut, a postdoc at the Cornell University K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics; and Ana Širović, an associate professor at NTNU's Department of Biology. Ana's work with whale dialects and ship strikes is part of the Whale Safe Project.
You can read more about the fibre-optic research in these articles from Norwegian SciTech News:
Here are some of the academic articles related to the research discussed in the episode.
- Landrø, M., Bouffaut, L., Kriesell, H.J. et al. Sensing whales, storms, ships and earthquakes using an Arctic fibre optic cable. Sci Rep 12, 19226 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-23606-x
- Léa Bouffaut, Kittinat Taweesintananon, Hannah Kriesell, Robin A Rørstadbotnen, John R Potter, Martin Landrø, Ståle E Johansen, Jan K Brenne, Aksel Haukanes, Olaf Schjelderup and Frode Storvik. Eavesdropping at the speed of light: distributed acoustic sensing of baleen whales in the Arctic. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.901348
- Rørstadbotnen RA, Eidsvik J, Bouffaut L, Landrø M, Potter J, Taweesintananon K, Johansen S, Storevik F, Jacobsen J, Schjelderup O, Wienecke S, Johansen TA, Ruud BO, Wuestefeld A and Oye V (2023) Simultaneous tracking of multiple whales using two fiber-optic cables in the Arctic. Front. Mar. Sci. 10:1130898. DOI=10.3389/fmars.2023.1130898
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