Published January 31, 2024 | Version v1
Dataset Open

Data: An experimental sound exposure study at sea: No spatial deterrence of free-ranging pelagic fish

  • 1. Institute Biology Leiden, Leiden University, the Netherlands
  • 2. Marine observation centre, Flanders Marine Institute, Belgium
  • 3. Wageningen Marine Research, Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands


Data abstract:

All data and scripts to replicate all plots and statistical results of the paper mentioned below. The data are sound recordings and processed echosounder data (raw echosounder data is available on request but > 100 GB in size and require specialized software).


Paper reference:

Jeroen HubertJozefien M. DemuynckM. Rafa RemmelzwaalCarlota MuñizElisabeth DebusschereBenoit BergesHans Slabbekoorn; An experimental sound exposure study at sea: No spatial deterrence of free-ranging pelagic fish. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 February 2024; 155 (2): 1151–1161.


Paper abstract:

Acoustic deterrent devices are used to guide aquatic animals from danger or toward migration paths. At sea, moderate sounds can potentially be used to deter fish to prevent injury or death due to acoustic overexposure. In sound exposure studies, acoustic features can be compared to improve deterrence efficacy. In this study, we played 200–1600 Hz pulse trains from a drifting vessel and investigated changes in pelagic fish abundance and behavior by utilizing echosounders and hydrophones mounted to a transect of bottom-moored frames. We monitored fish presence and tracked individual fish. This revealed no changes in fish abundance or behavior, including swimming speed and direction of individuals, in response to the sound exposure. We did find significant changes in swimming depth of individually tracked fish, but this could not be linked to the sound exposures. Overall, the results clearly show that pelagic fish did not flee from the current sound exposures, and we found no clear changes in behavior due to the sound exposure. We cannot rule out that different sounds at higher levels elicit a deterrence response; however, it may be that pelagic fish are just more likely to respond to sound with (short-lasting) changes in school formation.




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Additional details

Related works

Is supplement to
Journal article: 10.1121/10.0024720 (DOI)


Acoustic ecology of pelagic fish communities (APELAFICO): a study into the effects of construction and operation of wind farms NWA.1236.18.004
Dutch Research Council


Paper online