Nai'a Kuwili Project - Hawai'i
Nai'a Kuwili Project is a long-term study of spinner dolphins
(Stenella longirostris) resident along inshore waters
around Hawaii. The project's goals are to learn about the behavior
and ecology of this species and determine the effects of human
interactions on local populations and their habitat. Current
research efforts are focused on the use of Ecological
Acoustic Recorders (EARs) to monitor the long-term occurrence
of spinner dolphins at various sites across the Hawaiian Islands.
This represents an effort to gain a deeper understanding of
the interactions between spinner dolphins and their habitat.
EARs are deployed in areas commonly frequented by spinners to
detect their presence acoustically. Detections are then used
to infer temporal patterns of occurrence, which can be used
to learn about their relationships with prey, seasonal trends
in coastal use, and the effects of human activities, such as
vessel traffic and dolphin-watching.
monitoring - Azores, Portugal
are hotspots of marine life in the Azores, acting as feeding
stations for diverse top predators, including cetaceans. In
2007 OSI began a collaborative project with the University of
the Azores' Department of Oceanography and Fisheries to monitor
the seasonal occurrence of dolphins and whales and measure fishing
activities in Azorean marine protected areas. Four EARs
are currently deployed on banks and seamounts along the Azorean
archipelago. Two shallow (35 m) and two deep (190 m) units monitor
the occurrence of cetaceans, their temporal patterns and changing
levels of activity. A wide variety of acoustic signals have
been collected, revealing the presence of many different species
and associations between species.
monitoring - Husavik, Iceland
is home to a variety of whales, although many only spend the
summer months in Icelandic waters. Iceland is an important feeding
ground for cetaceans. The high productivity of the North Atlantic
and the structure of coastal areas offer a variety of habitats,
suitable for many species with different requirements. Professional
whale watching was established in Iceland in 1995 and is now
one of the highlights for people visiting the country. Skjalfandi
Bay, near the town of Husavik, is considered the whale watch
capital of Iceland. Blue whales, humpback whales, minke whales,
white beaked dolphins and killer whales all visit the bay regularly.
It's also been suggested that cod may spawn there in the spring.
In August 2008 OSI began a collaborative effort with the University
of Iceland to study the occurrence of whales and dolphins in
the bay using EARs. Two units were deployed
on opposite sides of the bay in waters 50-75 m deep. It is hoped
that the results will reveal annual variability of inter- and
intra-species density of cetaceans and also cod in the area.
Cod make sounds during spawning and are therefore well suited
for acoustic monitoring.