“The proposed PhD plan aims to investigate passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) as a tool to monitor vocal fish species of commercial or conservation interest and to assess habitat health in the Azorean archipelago.
Acoustic data collected since 2008 in several seamounts and banks in the Azorean archipelago will be analyzed to identify the presence of important vocal fish species and analyze patterns of their occurrence in time and space. Additionally, ecoacoustic indices will be quantified and related to human use, environmental quality, and biodiversity measures acquired by direct assessment. The study locations include areas with differential human impact and degrees of protection.
Sound and video recordings will be carried out in coastal areas to additionally compare open sea with coastal areas, since the latter provide unique resources for wildlife and face unprecedented and increasing human pressure.
This project will allow to validate acoustic indices as biodiversity indicators demonstrating how PAM, an inexpensive and non-invasive technique, could be used to monitor and manage marine protected areas, fishing effort or for surveillance. The outcome of the project will be relevant for conservation and management of important marine resources including fish.”