Technology: Sound and Movement Tags

DTag ready for deployment (Mark Johnson)

DTag ready for deployment (Mark Johnson)

The ocean is far from a quiet place. Choruses of fish and snapping shrimp combine with clicks from sperm whales and humpback songs to make a rich and varied acoustic landscape. But humans are changing how it sounds underwater. Sounds from distant shipping can be heard almost anywhere in the world while booms from oil exploration and off-shore construction are becoming increasingly common. Our objective is to study how animals use and cope with sound underwater.

To this end, we develop and deploy miniature sound and movement recording tags, called DTAGs, to sample the sound field experienced by marine animals and how they respond to it.

DTag deployed (Mark Johnson)

DTag deployed (Mark Johnson)

One of our main interests is in echolocating whales such as sperm whales, pilot whales and beaked whales. These animals dive to depths of 1 km or more where it is too dark to see prey and so they rely on sound to find food.

For more information on the developments in DTags go to the SOUNDTAG lab webpage

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