The Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys project is a major research undertaking aimed at understanding how humpback whales respond to seismic surveys and to provide the information that will allow these surveys to be conducted efficiently with minimal impact on whales.
Seismic surveys are used to map the rock structure beneath the sea floor in the exploration for oil and gas, as well as for research into the nature of the ocean floor. A ship tows an array of air guns which radiate pulses of sound downward into the sea floor from which reflections are received.
The five year project is a collaboration of leading researchers from several Australian institutions, and is funded by the international oil and gas industry's E&P Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Program (JIP) and the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
The main objectives are ...