A framework to estimate the risk of noise exposure from vessels for endangered cetacean species

Cominelli, Simone (2018) A framework to estimate the risk of noise exposure from vessels for endangered cetacean species. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis proposes a framework for assessing and visualizing exposure of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population to vessels’ noise. First, SRKW distribution was mapped and the risk for this population to be exposed to vessel-noise was estimated. The study identified six vessel classes as being the main contributors to noise exposure for SRKW. Building on this result, the second study presents an analytical framework focused on exposure hotspot mapping, the computation of probabilistic levels of exposure, and the identification of shipping routes minimizing exposure for SRKW. The framework was tested in the Salish Sea, leading to the identification of four hotspots of exposure for SRKW. Small spatial changes in the current shipping lanes could lead to a large reduction of the overlap between vessel traffic and sensitive areas for SRKW. The results highlight how effectively addressing vessel noise requires the implementation of adaptive management strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13614
Item ID: 13614
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: Noise pollution, Southern Resident Killer Whale, impacts of vessel traffic, Geovisualization tools, Endangered species
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: October 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Killer whale--Effect of noise on--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Underwater acoustics--Computer simulation; Ships--Noise--Computer simulation.

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