Sons de Mar – research in underwater bioacoustics

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins) are considered bio-indicators of changing environmental balances at sea because of their highly evolved acoustic perception and communication in their environment. The sounds in the ocean have dramatically transformed over the last 100 years due to anthropogenic noise made by our technologies – listen to this transformation at Sons de Mar. The noise pollution is so great that it interferes with Cetacean sonar and causes deafness which in turn increases the possibilities of collision with vessels at sea. The research group LAB Laboratori d’Aplicacions Bioacustiques, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, led by Michel Andre, has done several projects of passive acoustics – developing a way to detect whales by listening to the sound fields already present rather than adding more sound to the noise. There is also a clear acoustic map visualization with sound of the sea on the coasts of Catalunya and Spain.

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