• A line of offshore wind turbines seen from the surface
    blue background
    Industry interactions with the sea

Marine mammals research at SAMS

Of all the creatures in the marine environment, whales and dolphins are among the most recognisable and best-known. However, we rarely get a glimpse into their underwater world, which is changing rapidly due to human impacts and climate change. We can't necessarily see marine mammals in their deep underwater habitat, but we can listen.

Underwater acoustic technology helps scientists to identify species and their location. The sounds also reveal patterns of behaviour and migrations. As humans develop technology to further exploit the ocean's natural resources, can we learn more about the behaviours of these creatures by listening more?


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Here are some recent publications relating to this research theme:

Cottier-Cook, E.J., Beveridge, C., Bishop, J.D.D., Brodie, J., Clark, P.F., Epstein, G., Jenkins, S.R., Johns, D.G., Loxton, J., MacLeod, A., Maggs, C., Minchin, D., Mineur, F. , Sewell, J. and Wood, C.A. (2017). Non-native species. MCCIP Science Review 2017, 47-61, doi:10.14465/2017.arc10.005-nns

Rouse, S., Kafas, A., Hayes, P. & Wilding, T.A. (2017) Development of data layers to show the fishing intensity associated with individual pipeline sections as an aid for decommissioning decision-making. Underwater Technology 34, 171-178

Rouse, S., Hayes, P., Davies, I.M. & Wilding, T.A. (2017) Offshore pipeline decommissioning: scale and context. Marine Pollution Bulletin 129, 241-244

Benjamins, S., van Geel, N., Hastie, G., Elliott, J., & Wilson, B. 2017. Harbour porpoise distribution can vary at small spatiotemporal scales in energetic habitats. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 141: 191-202.

Fox, C.J., Benjamins, S., Masden, E.A. & Miller, R.G. 2018. Challenges and opportunities in monitoring the impacts of tidal-stream energy devices on marine vertebrates. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 18(2): 1626-1938

Hastie, G.D., Russell, D.J.F., Lepper, P., Elliott, J., Wilson, B., Benjamins, S., & Thompson, D. 2017. Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk. Journal of Applied Ecology 5(2): 684-693.