New Passive Acoustic Monitoring Framework to Help Safeguard Marine Resources During Offshore Wind Development


The framework supports NOAA Fisheries’ commitment to using the best available science to maintain the health of protected resources, habitats, and managed fisheries throughout the lifecycle of offshore wind energy projects.

NOAA Fisheries and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have developed a new framework for monitoring underwater sounds. Published today in Frontiers in Marine Science, the guidelines are designed to help safeguard marine resources as wind energy development expands in U.S. waters.

The framework provides holistic recommendations for offshore wind stakeholders nationwide to effectively monitor and reduce the impact of wind energy projects on marine animals using passive acoustic monitoring.

Passive acoustic monitoring in aquatic environments refers to the use of underwater microphones to detect sounds from animals and the environment. These microphones can be deployed for months at a time, run non-stop, and gather data in difficult weather and light conditions. This makes them a great complement to more traditional survey methods. Scientists can also use groups of recorders to track animals as they move throughout an area.

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