ABIS: Acoustics of Bergeggi ISland
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ABIS: Acoustics of Bergeggi ISland

Dates / Project duration

June 2023 - June 2024 / 13 months


In progress


Pelagos Sanctuary

Project leader(s)

MPA Isola di Bergeggi ?


ABIS project aims to fill some gap of knowledge about cetaceans species that use this area, to find some seasonal trend, and to assess the impact of anthropic noise on marine life, collecting long term acoustic data with a fixed underwater hydrophone-recorder. Acoustic recordings will be done for 365 days, and data will be obtained regularly every 2 months. 
In addition, the use of a long term recorder placed in the column water close to the sea bottom allows to monitor and quantify daily presence of dolphins to reveal their local behavior, in particular at night when feeding activities increase, and also to detect far animals, such as sperm whales in a range of about 10 km. The recorder will also reveal fish sounds that are indicators of the biodiversity and biological richness of the protected area.
A second dataset will be obtained with sea campaigns in the border of study areas, in order to get photos and identification of sighted individuals. A third data set will be obtained with land sighting when weather and sea conditions will not allowed sea surveys.
The analysis approach will be based on several hierarchical steps: a global monthly view of the noise dynamics and biological presence, soundscape analysis with daily compact spectrograms, and analytical view of relevant acoustic events, either biological, meteorological or anthropogenic.
The resulting presence/absence rates and assessment on underwater noise will play an important role in the framework of the EU Marine Strategy. Moreover, as education and outreach are key drivers for effective conservation strategies, ABIS project will promote workshops to help improve public and young people awareness. Several educational activities will be used to communicate project results, and to suggest possible strategies for the protection of cetaceans of our precious and threatened Pelagos Sanctuary.