News

Fin whale song research

Barbara Koot with acoustic recording equipment.

Barbara Koot with acoustic recording equipment.

The September issue of Marine Mammal Research Newsletter features the article “Decoding the mysterious songs of fin whales” about a cetacean research project by Barbara Koot performed in collaboration with JASCO Applied Sciences.

Koot, who conducted the research as part of her MSc thesis at the University of British Columbia, used JASCO’s acoustic analysis software framework to process large datasets of underwater sound recordings and automatically detect fin whale calls. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, another collaborator in the study, supported the deployment and retrieval of acoustic recording instruments offshore the British Columbia coastline.

The article notes that “[Koot’s] results show that British Columbia waters are important for fin whales year-round, rather than just during the summer feeding season—and that more than one population likely uses these waters. Her findings have significant implications for fin whale conservation and management strategies.”

Koot will be presenting her research at the 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in San Francisco.