The OCEANS’14 MTS/IEEE conference will be hosted in Taipei, Taiwan. There will be a special session for UNDERWATER ACOUSTICS AND ACOUSTICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. This special session will focus on the application of using underwater acoustics to explore the ecology, meteorology, and underwater communication.
In 2010, there was a marine cable hosted observatory (MACHO) established off the northeastern Taiwan. This is the first long-term marine observatory in eastern Taiwan waters. The continuous transmission of underwater recordings can help us to monitor the weather, biological noise, and anthropogenic noise. Weather events, such as rain and wind, produce unique acoustic features. In other words, people can use underwater recordings to understand the local weather without the surface monitoring buoy. Biological noise, such as cetacean vocalizations, are very prominent in that area. Our team can detect cetacean tonal sounds (whistles) every day, especially during nighttime. The northeastern Taiwan waters is a very good place for dolphin watching with at least seven sympatric odontocete species. However, the current technology is still difficult to distinguish between different cetacean species based on the acoustic characteristics of tonal sounds.
Our team will have one presentation in the bioacoustic session. The issue of using tonal sounds to distinguish cetacean species will be studied, and applied on the underwater recordings collected from the long-term marine observatory. In the future, we hope that the marine observatory can be a biodiversity monitoring station for marine mammals!