The Effect of Acoustic Harassment Devices on Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada

Journal Article

Title: The Effect of Acoustic Harassment Devices on Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada
Authors: Johnston, D.
Publication Date:
November 01, 2002
Journal: Biological Conservation
Volume: 108
Issue: 1
Pages: 113-118
Publisher: Elsevier
Affiliation:
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Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Johnston, D. (2002). The Effect of Acoustic Harassment Devices on Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Biological Conservation, 108(1), 113-118.
Abstract: 

Many salmon aquaculture sites in the Bay of Fundy employ acoustic harassment devices (AHDs) to deter seals from approaching fish pens. These devices may also exclude harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from important habitat. To determine the effects of AHDs on harbour porpoises an AHD was deployed experimentally in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Relative porpoise abundance (visual scans) and porpoise movements (tracked by theodolite) were recorded for separate, daily, 2-h periods in the vicinity of either an active (n=9) or inactive (n=7) AHD. Fewer porpoises were sighted during active periods (0.22±0.44, mean±SD ) than inactive periods (2.91±1.29; P<0.05). The mean closest observed approach of porpoises to the AHD during active periods (991±302 m) was significantly greater than during inactive periods (364±261 m; P<0.01). Porpoise density was therefore reduced in the vicinity of active an AHD. These results should be considered before AHDs are deployed in porpoise habitat.

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