You are here

Underwater acoustic recording of cetaceans made by the Italian Navy [abstract]

Gianni Pavan, Marco Priano, Michele Manghi, Pamela Nascetti and Andrea Perazzi (1997). Underwater acoustic recording of cetaceans made by the Italian Navy [abstract]. Bioacoustics, Volume 8 (3-4): 273 -274



Within the frame of European Nature Conservation Year 1995, the Italian Navy set up a cooperative research program with universities and other institutions to give logistic support and to apply its technologies to the study and protection of the marine environment. The project includes a research program on cetacean acoustics, mainly dealing with the sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus, to unveil and monitor its seasonal movements and behaviour. The Italian Navy surface vessels crews have been trained to visually recognize them in order to complete sighting schedules. Besides, personnel working on submarines and maritime patrol aircraft have been trained in identifying biological sounds recorded during ASW (Anti-submarine Warfare) operations. ASW techniques proved to be successful in finding and recording cetaceans. Unclassified sound recordings made independently by the Navy, with surface vessels, submarines and sonobuoys, have been provided to the Cetacean Sound Library of the Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali. The research continued in 1996 mainly with the collection of recordings from sonobuoys deployed while performing ASW patrolling activities. To date, several valuable recordings have been collected from elusive species like the sperm whale and pilot whale. Several recordings of sperm whale codas typical of the Mediterranean Sea (/// / pattern) have been collected, including new "short'' codas with the same distinctive pattern. Whenever possible, species identification of vocalizing animals was made by comparing sounds with those available in the Cetacean Sound Library.