Passive Acoustic Research in the Atlantic Ocean

We use innovative passive acoustic technologies to evaluate the impacts of various human-produced sounds on acoustically sensitive marine animals, to aid in management, monitoring, and conservation efforts.

NOAA Fisheries studies marine animals by using a variety of technologies to record underwater sounds, including archival passive acoustic recordings (orange), real-time acoustic data collection (green), and active acoustics (blue).

Marine mammals and many fish can produce and perceive sound in the ocean. In an environment where vision is limited, hearing is one of the most important senses. These animals rely on sound for navigating, socializing, establishing dominance, attracting mates, avoiding predators, and finding food.

Using space- and time-based measures, we study marine animal sounds. We evaluate the impacts of human-produced sounds on acoustically sensitive marine mammals to inform management, conservation, and education.

    With our partners, we have been deploying recorders on the ocean bottom since 2004 to record sound in the Northwest Atlantic. These recorders collect and store acoustic data for time periods ranging from several weeks to two years. The data we collect are used to characterize ocean noise and study the acoustic behavior of marine mammals and fish. They also help us understand the numbers and location of species in these waters.

    To view different acoustic deployments, visit our deployment map.

    Explore our research and staff pages to find out more about us:

      Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on September 10, 2020