Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” -A.A. Milne.

The Northeast Passive Acoustic Sensing Network is a fantastic network of passive acoustic monitoring in the North-East Atlantic.

The Northeast Passive Acoustic Sensing Network (NEPAN) is a network of passive acoustic projects occurring in the North-East Atlantic between 2014-2017. It spans from the Gulf of Maine to the New York Bight and demonstrates a variety of passive acoustic technologies and their applications for conservation, management and advancing marine mammal research and knowledge.

Sofie Van Parijs, head of the passive acoustics group at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass, said:

NEPAN is an example of how collaborative scientific efforts and financial investment across many federal agencies can produce a novel and wide-ranging solution to gaps in current scientific information.

NEPAN currently consists of 4 projects:

Near Real time data collection on baleen whale distribution and occurrence

  • Aim: to collect near real time info on right, fin, sei and humpback whales
  • Platforms: real time moorings, electrical gliders & wave gliders
  • Partners: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, NAVFAC, NY State

Real time data collection for mitigation of potential impacts on right whales

  • Aim: real time monitoring of right whales in and around a US Coastguard gunnery range
  • Platforms: real time moorings
  • Partners: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US Coastguard

Mapping Atlantic cod spawning grounds

  • Aim: listen for and to define the seasonal extent of the spawning season
  • Platforms: bottom mounted passive acoustic recorders & electrical gliders
  • Partners: : MASS Department of Marine Fisheries, SMAST, TNC, NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Archival long term passive acoustic monitoring for baleen and odontocete whales

  • Aim: long term seasonal occurrence data for baleen whales and odontocetes
  • Platforms: bottom mounted recorders
  • Partners: Cornell University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, JASCO Ltd