WHOI Researchers Develop Tech for New York Whale Study

COURTESY OF THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY

COURTESY OF THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY

WOODS HOLE – Scientists with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium are studying the New York region’s biggest voices.

No. Not the stars of Broadway, but the whales of New York Bight.

Researchers recently deployed a high-tech acoustic monitoring buoy in New York waters that will allow scientists to listen to some of the world’s largest mammals.

The buoy has “stretch hoses” that are connected to a weighted frame that sits 125 feet below the surface on the sea floor.

The frame carries the acoustic equipment that records and processes sound from an underwater microphone. The data is transmitted through the hoses to the buoy and then to shore through the Iridium satellite system.

The equipment was developed by WHOI engineers.

Similar buoys have been deployed in waters off Massachusetts and Maine but the near real-time technology is being used for the first time in the waters off New York.

The buoy will help researchers better understand the movements of, and threats to, the whales swimming through the region including humpback whales, blue whales and the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

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