The JIP aims to understand the potential effects of sound from exploration and production activities on the physiology and hearing of different types of marine animals.
Whether a sound affects an animal depends on its frequency, volume, duration and the time it takes to reach its maximum level. The JIP has focused on conducting studies to understand the potential physical effect of sound from seismic surveys on a variety of marine mammals and fish. Studies are conducted on a species by species basis.
Areas of Interest
TTS in odontocetes in response to multiple airgun impulses
Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS) has been understood to be a conservative benchmark for hearing injury in marine mammals. Often times, however, TTS curves are obtained after exposure to tones or broadband noise.
Assessing the hearing abilities of mysticete whales
Regulators must often make decisions in the absence of essential information. The mysticetes (baleen whales) are of particular regulatory concern because these animals depend on sound for social communication, have global distributions, and are vulnerable because of past commercial whaling.
Blood nitrogen uptake and distribution during diving in bottlenose dolphins
This project was designed to investigate how bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) avoid decompression sickness by measuring heart rate, lung volume, and blood nitrogen levels during and after diving.
Modelling mysticete (Baleen whale) hearing
The primary goal of this research was to use anatomical modeling techniques to provide reliable hearing estimates for baleen whale species thought to be most susceptible to impacts from low frequency sound sources such as seismic operations.
AEP audiogram, seasonal movement measurements and vocalisation of individual minke whales
This study was conducted to 1) obtain the first-ever audiogram for a mysticete whale, and 2) to use the data to test the predictions of the models of minke whale hearing provided by Ketten and Mountain (project above). Small, manageable minke whales were accessible in Iceland where they were being studied by Danish researchers, and where minke whale hunters and capture boats were readily available.
Tissue injury workshop and fish tissue injury modeling – “A model for prediction of auditory tissue damage in fish”
Two separate Programme activities were supported in an effort to determine whether fish exposed to airguns are at risk for epithelial hair cell damage. First, a Fish Tissue Injury Workshop was held in Stavanger, Norway 19-20 June 2007. Second, based on the recommendations of the workshop, a modeling study was undertaken to predict auditory tissue damage in fish.
Hearing capabilities of loggerhead sea turtles throughout Ontogeny
While some electrophysiological auditory studies have been conducted on sea turtles, little is currently known about sea turtle hearing capabilities from hatchling to adult, or how electrophysiological data correlate with behavioural responses.
Airgun effects on Arctic seals: auditory detection, masking and TTS in Pinnipeds
Arctic environments are changing rapidly as a result of ice retreat and industrialisation related to E&P activities. Subsequently, increased human noise in the Arctic, absence of data on hearing in Arctic seals, and the possible listing of some Arctic species as endangered have increased the need for data on hearing in Arctic pinnipeds.