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Seasonal and interannual patterns in the presence of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Belgian waters from 2010 to 2015 as derived from passive acoustic monitoring
Haelters, J.; Rumes, B.; Vanaverbeke, J.; Degraer, S. (2016). Seasonal and interannual patterns in the presence of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Belgian waters from 2010 to 2015 as derived from passive acoustic monitoring, in: Degraer, S. et al. (Ed.) Environmental impacts of offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: Environmental impact monitoring reloaded. pp. 249-267
In: Degraer, S. et al. (Ed.) (2016). Environmental impacts of offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: Environmental impact monitoring reloaded. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, OD Natural Environment, Marine Ecology and Management Section: Brussels. ISBN 978-90-8264-120-2. ix, 287 pp., more

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Haelters, J., more
  • Rumes, B.
  • Vanaverbeke, J., more
  • Degraer, S., more

Abstract
    The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is the most abundant cetacean in the Belgian part of the North Sea. We developed a mooring system for static passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) of this species using c-PoDs at locations of opportunity. Data of moorings between 2010 and 2015 at two locations were analysed. They revealed a significant seasonal trend in detections, assessed by month, with peaks in late winter - early spring and late summer, consistent with the results of aerial surveys and with strandings data. At one location there were significant differences in detections between years, with higher detection rates in every year between 2011 and 2014, and the highest detection rates in 2013 and 2014. The experiences gained are used to design a subsequent study strategy to monitor harbour porpoise presence in Belgian waters, including possible effects on their presence due to the construction of offshore windfarms.

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