Aarhus University Seal

Seasonality of marine mammals and background noise level in the Godthaabsfjord

Info about event


Thursday 16 May 2013,  at 00:00 - 00:00


Sanna Cruise in Godthåbsfjorden, Nuuk, Greenland

Marine mammals, especially humpback whales and harp seals, are important seasonal top-down regulators in the ecosystems of Godthaabsfjord and Fyllas Bank, where they feed on krill and small schooling fish. Using passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) and visual surveys, we will investigate their spatial and temporal distribution along a predefined survey transect from the Icefjord in Godthaabsfjord to Fylla Bank. Marine mammals and birds will be monitored visually from the observation barrel on R/V Sanna by a dedicated observer on transits between stations. Six PAM instruments will be moored along the survey transect to record the acoustic signals of marine mammals and the background noise in the fjord. The PAM will continue year round and provide data on seasonal variations. The visual surveys will provide data on numbers and distribution of animals at each survey period. 

In addition, the PAM will provide a baseline of the background noise level in Godthaabsfjord. Two large-scale projects will be initiated in 2014-15: the ISUA iron mine and an expansion of Nuuk harbor. The raised noise level from these activities can decrease fitness of the marine mammals by increasing risks of ship strikes, and masking of communication and feeding cues.

Site: Sanna Cruise in Godthåbsfjorden, Nuuk, Greenland

PI: Malene Simon