Automated monitoring and analysis of marine mammal vocalizations in coastal habitats

Benjamin Hendricks*, Eric M. Keen, Janie L. Wray, Hussein M. Alidina, Lauren McWhinnie, Hermann Meuter, Chris R. Picard, T. Aaron Gulliver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


A partnership of the Gitga’at First Nation, WWF-Canada and the North Coast Cetacean Society has installed a long baseline hydrophone array in Squally Channel; a culturally, ecologically, and economically important marine environment in northern British Columbia (BC), Canada. The array consists of four synchronized bottom-mounted hydrophones that permanently record and radio-transmit data to a land-based laboratory in real-time. The array covers an area of approximately 200 km 2 to realize long-term and wide-range monitoring of marine mammals. To allow for efficient data analysis, automated detectors for cetacean vocalizations have been developed in collaboration with the University of Victoria. The detection performance has been tested using manually annotated data. We present an overview of the detectors for orca and humpback whales, and their computational and analytic performance as a function of signal-to-noise ratio. The ability to adapt to different ocean environments and target species is demonstrated by applying the detectors to 100 days of archival acoustic data recorded at two different places along the BC coast. Data recorded during pilot studies in 2017 from Squally Channel (approximately 30 days) is used to provide an overview of cetacean vocalization detections. Finally, we show acoustic activity variations and trends based on environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 OCEANS - MTS/IEEE Kobe Techno-Oceans (OTO)
ISBN (Electronic)9781538616543
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2018
Event2018 OCEANS - MTS/IEEE Kobe Techno-Oceans - Kobe, Japan
Duration: 28 May 201831 May 2018


Conference2018 OCEANS - MTS/IEEE Kobe Techno-Oceans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Oceanography
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Instrumentation


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