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The collection of baseline data on marine mammal use of tidal energy sites prior to Tidal In stream Energy Conversion (TISEC) deployments is considered vital in any subsequent post-deployment assessment of changes in marine mammal activity levels or spatial use. The proposed project involves the deployment of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) devices (hydrophones) for an assessment of marine mammal presence in the Minas Passage and FORCE test area during the winter and early spring period of 2013/2014. All prior acoustic surveys of marine mammals in the Minas Passage (2010-2012) have been conducted during late spring, summer and fall. Recent statistical tests and modeling of PAM datasets predict that peaks in porpoise presence are likely to occur during the late winter/early spring (Wood et al., 2013). This modeled result requires confirmation with field assessment. Addressing the detection range limitations and the seasonal data gaps in marine mammal presence will provide essential acoustic data towards an understanding of year-round patterns in marine mammal movements, especially those of Harbour porpoise, in and near the FORCE test area, for later use in turbine impact assessments.
Dr. Anna Redden
Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy
Information and communications technologies
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