Using fiber-optic cables, scientists have been dropping on whales. A group of scientists published a study in July that used a practical method to monitor the activity of baleen whales in the northern part of the world. Similar studies could change how scientists collect data

Internet traffic is carried under the ocean by fiber-optic cables. They are often used by scientists in the field who want to collect and access data in real time. They can be used to detect earthquakes. The cables were used to detect whale noises. It is the first instance of wildlife monitoring being done through a technique.

The study was co-authored by a student at the University of Science and Technology in Norway.

Huge areas of the ocean are covered by fiber-optic cables.

Hydrophones are used to monitor underwater whale activity. The hydrophone only covers so much ground. Around 10 to 20 kilometers away from each other are where hydrophones are usually deployed. This close proximity gives scientists a good idea of where whales are, similar to using cellphone tower triangulation to find where a call was made. Even a large network of hydrophones can only see a small part of the ocean. Huge areas of the ocean are covered by fiber-optic cables.

Communications companies can alert them to problems like a break in the line by using distributed acoustic sensor. The interrogator is a device that measures whether a fiber-optic cable is functional. Light is sent to the cable by the interrogator. The cable can be disrupted by sounds or sound waves. Researchers can determine what is going on near the cable by observing the light reaching the interrogator.

Here’s the sound of the whales captured by the virtual hydrophones.

Here’s the sound of the whales captured by the virtual hydrophones. (opens a new window)

The result is called Virtual hydrophones. The hydrophones were placed about four meters apart. Interpretation of the data can be done audibly, but it can also be seen.

Similar to how fiber-optic cables pick up sound from an earthquake, the cable can pick up sound from the fins of whales. It's fins. According to the study, fin whale songs can be made through a series of repeated short and low frequencies.

Major gaps in our understanding of whale species can be filled with more data about baleen whales. Even though they are some of the biggest animals on the planet, researchers don't have enough information to decide if they are threatened or not.

Scientific evidence is needed to show how they are doing.

"Scientific evidence of what they're doing and how they're doing" When whales get hit by boats, get caught in fishing gear, and migrate in a different direction, researchers can use fiber-optic cables to see if they are present in a specific region. The information collected is used to keep an eye on whales as they recover from whaling.

Researchers collected the data for their study and now they are looking for other uses of the recording technology. Whether they can only record at low frequencies, how many different species can be recorded, and how far researchers can record a whale are some curiosities.

One of my hopes is that we can use the idea that we can receive the data in real time to deal with the data in real time. There are a lot of issues that need real-time monitoring in the bioacoustics community.