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The noise of whale watching vessels following killer whales as the whales pass near the San Juan Islands is the subject of a study which began in May 2004 under contract to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Calibrated recordings were made of a variety of whale watching vessels, up to 100 kHz. Of particular interest was the possible impact of high frequency cavitation noise on the echolocation abilities of the killer whales and the differences in high frequency noise levels between jet drive vessels and propellor driven vessels.

explorathor The whale watching vessel Explorathor.

A report was prepared for NMFS:

Hildebrand, J., M. McDonald, J. Calambokidis, and K. Balcomb. 2006. Whale watch vessel ambient noise in the Haro Strait. NMFS Contract NA17RJ1231. (Available from Univ. California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Joint Institute for Marine Observations, 9500 Gilman
Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093.)

This work was incorporated into a larger study (Online. Opens pdf)

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