This proposal is prepared with the help of an Exploratory Award which included a Research Feasibility Study. This project addresses the problem of the interaction between marine mammals populations and human activities at sea. There is a large class of applications of marine technologies in which the control the behaviour of marine mammals can be very important in order to prevent their mortality. The scientific and technical objectives of this research proposal concern the implementation of an electroacoustic prototype for controlling the behaviour of some species of marine mammals, particularly dolphins, in their natural environment. In order to verify the efficiency and reliability of the acoustic prototypes we will consider mainly the applications to the fishery problems. Research is required into the study of the effects of different acoustic signals on the hearing apparatus of dolphins, which needs to be conducted by means of laboratory, dolphinarium and at sea experiments.
In particularly, the specific objectives are:
- Theoretical evaluation of the Natural Frequencies of Resonance (NFR) of main components of the Rice-Transmitting System (RTS) of dolphins;
- Tank experiments in order to measure the actual natural oscillations of the different components of dolphin RTS. Evaluation of the possible difference between the theoretical and experimental NFR. Structure definition of signal to be emitted by means of the acoustic prototype (choice of resonance signals or a combination of them plus anti-adaptive signals, aimed at disturbing the adaptation of dolphin to the repulsive calls).
Design and realisation of an experimental prototype to be used in the subsequent steps, and namely during tan k and floating cage experiments; - Floating cage and open sea experiments to evaluate the efficiency of selected signals on alive animals. Possible re-designing of structure of signals to be emitted; - Planning and production of a set of final series prototypes and their testing during real fishing actions to be conducted in different sea areas.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
91026 Mazara Del Vallo Trapani
16038 Santa Margherita Ligure - Genova
83110 Sanary Sur Mer