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The Coastal Acoustic Buoy (CAB) represents a new generation of passive acoustic monitoring devices for marine mammal mitigation and underwater noise monitoring. A lightweight design allows CAB to be deployed by two people from a small boat using a small mooring to hold it in place (in depths up to 150 m), and its long battery life of 14 days minimizes deployment and recovery costs. Up to three channels and a sample rate up to 500 kHz provide flexibility and many options. In conjunction with PAMGaurd software, marine mammal echolocation clicks and whistles (or other tonal calls) can be identified with a suite of existing flexible detectors and classifiers to suit the needs of a variety of projects and species (from baleen whales to dolphins and porpoise). Noise modules can be implemented to measure ambient noise levels in rms, 0-peak, peak-peak and SEL across a customizable range of frequencies and time scales. These data (acoustic detections and noise measurements) can be sent in real time / near-real time. CAB can utilize either radio (2.4 GHz or 900 MHz) or cellular 3G communications, depending on the field site and local regulations. While processed data are sent during deployments, raw acoustic data can be stored onboard (1TB hard drive) for further analyses or auditing after retrieval. To date, CABs have been successfully deployed and tested in Hong Kong waters, to detect Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and Washington State (USA) waters, to detect harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and orca (Orcinus orca). CAB can also measure underwater noise levels. The range of detection for each species depends on the source levels of the calls/clicks, the transmission loss at the study site and ambient noise levels.
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