Cetacean Acoustic Trend Tracking project
Falmouth Marine Conservation website is proud to support the Cetacean Acoustic Trend Tracking project (CATT). This collaborative effort aims to monitor the long-term population trends of cetaceans, which are a diverse group of marine mammals including whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Cetaceans play vital roles in maintaining the health and balance of marine ecosystems, making it crucial that we protect and conserve them.
To achieve this goal, the Cetacean Acoustic Trend Tracking project has deployed a network of F-pod acoustic devices along the south coast of the UK, from Sussex to the Isle of Scilly. These devices, generously donated by Chelonia, monitor the presence and activity of dolphins, porpoises, and other toothed whales through the detection of their echolocation clicks. By analysing the data collected by the F-pods, researchers can gain a better understanding of cetacean populations and how they are changing over time. The F-pods have been donated and linked to local marine groups to promote local engagement and education.
We are pleased to announce that the Falmouth Marine Conservation group has deployed an F-pod in the waters of Falmouth, thanks to the support of Falmouth Harbour and Research Development UK. This device has a maximum detection range of approximately 400 metres for porpoises and over 1 km for dolphins. Data from this F-pod will be retrieved every four months and analysed by the Marine group, who will also work with students and researchers at the University of Exeter to interpret the data.
In addition to the F-pods, the Cetacean Acoustic Trend Tracking project is also utilising visual sightings from local marine groups to monitor cetaceans on the south coast of the UK. We will be matching acoustic data with our visual sighting data collected by our Falmouth Marine Group SeaQuestcoordinators who conduct monthly marine watches at Pendennis point, surveying for cetaceans and seals. This comprehensive approach allows us to gain a more complete picture of cetacean populations and the factors that may be impacting them.
The Cetacean Acoustic Trend Tracking Project is a collaborative effort involving a range of partners, including Chelonia, The Wildlife Trust, marine groups, and Exeter and Plymouth Universities. If you are interested in learning more about this project or would like to get involved, please don't hesitate to contact us.