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A method for modeling marine mammal movement and behavior for environmental impact assessment

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1 Author(s)
Houser, D.S. ; BIOMIMETICA, La Mesa, CA

Estimating the impact of anthropogenic sound on marine animals entails consideration of animal location in the vertical and horizontal planes and the behavior of the animal (e.g., breeding, foraging, migration) at the time of sound exposure. To approach more realistic impact estimates, the effects of sound on the marine environment (ESME) model incorporates a simulation program that permits fine-scale control over simulated marine animal (animat) movement and behavior. The simulation program, known as the Marine Mammal Movement and Behavior (3MB) module, provides user control over animats that is scaleable to available information about the species of concern. Movement and behavior is stochastically determined by sampling from distributions describing rates of movement in the horizontal and vertical planes, direction of travel, time at the surface between dives, time at depth, and time in and transition between behavioral states. Influence of behavior over each of the other distributions is permitted. As knowledge of marine animal behavior, movement, and ecology increases, the flexibility and level of control provided by such models will increase the potential for realistic impact estimates

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 1 )