Research is fundamental to understanding the marine environment and providing long term solutions to some of the problems it faces. We have a strong base and long experience of researching marine mammals at sea and have been instrumental in pioneering the use of motor sailing vessels as cost effective platforms for offshore marine mammal research.
Ecologic is involved in several recent and ongoing research projects.
SWSS Sperm whale responses to seismic sounds
This is a large project coordinated by Texas A&M University which aims to assess the impact of noise from seismic survey airgun arrays on endangered sperm whales in the Gufl of Mexico. Funded by US Minerals Management Service and IAGC it includes satellite and Dtag projects as well as more traditional photo-identification and acoustic monitoring work. Ecologic has been involved with various aspects of the project for the last three years, providing acoustic monitoring equipment, advice on tracking sperm whales and a developing video range measuring system. Jonathan Gordon is now a PI on the work package which focuses on use of photo-identification and acoustic monitoring to elucidate population size, social organization and distributions. For further information on SWSS see their website http://seawater.tamu.edu/SWSS/
Two sperm whales fluke close to the RV Gyre during SWSS 2002. Photo J Gordon Courtesy of MMS/TAMU
Survey of Cetacean West of Scotland for Conoco
During this project acoustic techniques were used to monitor for cetaceans on the shelf to the west of outer-Hebrides from a chartered fishing vessel which was being used to making use of time available between noise measuring work being conducted by Subacoustech
Europhlukes is a European Union funded project to build an integrated database of photo-identification images of European Cetaceans and to develop tools for maintaining databases and automated matching. Ecologic is a core consortium member. One of Ecologic's specific tasks within Europhlukes has been to build and maintain a Web site bringing together information and resources on the use of photo-identification in cetacean research. The Europhlukes website is at http://www.europhlukes.net
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