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Effects of a seismic survey on movement of free-ranging Atlantic cod
van der Knaap, I.; Reubens, J.; Thomas, L.; Ainslie, M.A.; Winter, H.V.; Hubert, J.; Martin, B.; Slabbekoorn, H. (2021). Effects of a seismic survey on movement of free-ranging Atlantic cod. Curr. Biol. 31(7): 1555-1562.
In: Current Biology. Cell Press: London. ISSN 0960-9822; e-ISSN 1879-0445, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Dataset 

    Measurement > Telemetry > Acoustic telemetry
    Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    Atlantic cod, airgun array, good environmental status, hidden Markov models, noise pollution, movement behavior

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • van der Knaap, I., more
  • Reubens, J., more
  • Thomas, L.
  • Ainslie, M.A.
  • Winter, H.V.
  • Hubert, J., more
  • Martin, B.
  • Slabbekoorn, H.

    Geophysical exploration of the seabed is typically done through seismic surveys, using airgun arrays that produce intense, low-frequency-sound pulses that can be heard over hundreds of square kilometers, 24/7. Little is known about the effects of these sounds on free-ranging fish behavior. Effects reported range from subtle individual change in activity and swimming depth for captive fish to potential avoidance and changes in swimming velocity and diurnal activity patterns for free-swimming animals. However, the extent and duration of behavioral responses to seismic surveys remain largely unexplored for most fish species. In this study, we investigated the effect of a full-scale seismic survey on the movement behavior of free-swimming Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). We found that cod did not leave the detection area more than expected during the experimental survey but that they left more quickly from 2 days to 2 weeks after the survey. Furthermore, during the exposure, cod decreased their activity, with time spent being “locally active” (moving small distances, showing high body acceleration) becoming shorter, and time spent being “inactive” (moving small distances, having low body acceleration) becoming longer. Additionally, diurnal activity cycles were disrupted with lower locally active peaks at dusk and dawn, periods when cod are known to actively feed. The combined effects of delayed deterrence and activity disruption indicate the potential for seismic surveys to affect energy budgets and to ultimately lead to population-level consequences.

  • van der Knaap I.; Reubens J.; Ainslie M.; Thomas L.; Winter H.V.; Hubert J.; Martin B.; Slabbekoorn H.; Leiden University, Institute of Behavioral Biology; Wageningen Marine Research: The Netherlands; Marine Biology Research Group - Ugent; Flanders Marine Institute: Belgium; JASCO Applied Sciences: Canada; Centre for Research into Ecological & Environmental Modelling, University of St Andrews: United Kingdom; (2020): Atlantic cod acoustic telemetry dataset used to assess impact of a multi-day full-scale seismic survey experiment on the behaviour of free-ranging cod at a wind farm. Marine Data Archive., more

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