Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Conservation Areas

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Marine Technology Society Journal

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This paper introduces underwater sensing technologies for acoustic monitoring of marine conservation areas. Small networks of individual passive acoustic sensors have been deployed to investigate a low-cost solution for monitoring motorized vessels and marine ambient noise in large areas. A data processing package, called “Conservancy-Watch,” is introduced for environmental management and conservation of natural resources. The package includes passive sensing database creation, ambient noise monitoring to identify long-term trends and impacts, classification of organic and boat vessel events, detection of marine mammals and estimation of their call density, and detection of motorized vessels. Test results on data collected at several conservation sites in Hawaii have confirmed the detection capability of individual hydrophone sensors.