IQOE Working Group on Acoustic Measurement of Ocean Biodiversity Hotspots

IQOE formed this working group to help bring together scientists from the global community with an interest in studying the acoustics of high-biodiversity areas, such as coral and deep-water reefs, mangrove forests, and kelp forests.


Bishwajit Chakraborty (India)
Aran Mooney (USA)

Other Members

Lucia di Iorio (France)
Sophie Nedelec (UK)
Marc Lammers (USA)
David Lecchini (French Polynesia/France)
Miles Parsons (Australia)
Craig Radford (New Zealand)i
Jenni Stanley (USA)
Tzu-Hao Lin (China-Taipei)


Terms of Reference

The objectives of such a Working Group might be to develop work programmes aimed at the following actions:

  • Develop standardized passive acoustic recording protocols for identifying, quantifying, detecting and cataloguing the sounds made by marine organisms and determining the best approaches to provide a library of sounds for high-biodiversity ocean areas.
  • Further develop passive acoustics as an ecological survey technique, capable of comparing the acoustic characteristics of different adjacent habitats.
  • Develop a suitable analytical technique to identify and quantify vocalizations from marine animals, and the contexts in which they are produced.
  • Evaluate and develop analytical techniques that may be used to track and monitor acoustical and community biodiversity over time, techniques that may be able to monitor and inform changes to high=biodiversity areas under stress.
  • Determine how changes in the acoustic environment over space and time, especially as a result of human-made noise/sound, affects animals (distribution patterns, migratory behavior and acoustic communication) associated with high-biodiversity ocean areas and adjacent habitats their distribution patterns, migratory behavior and acoustic communication.
  • Investigate effective sound metrics to characterize the biodiversity of high-biodiversity ocean areas.
  • Understanding of the interrelationship among acoustic parameters with respect to the environmental parameters such as temperature, flow, wind data etc.
  • Develop pilot projects to apply acoustic techniques to examine the main forces acting upon high-biodiversity ocean areas and resulting in changes in biodiversity.
  • Generate and leverage support for soundscape measurements in high biodiversity ocean areas, accurately promoting the utility (and limitations) to managers and other users.
  • Help coordinate and stimulate national efforts on the bioacoustics of high-biodiversity ocean areas.

Status: The IQOE Science Plan has been reviewed and approved by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), and is available here.

Funding has been obtained to begin initial implementation activities. An IQOE Science Committee has been formed and met for the second time in London, UK on 27-28 January 2017.

SCOR and POGO staff members will assist project scientists with implementation.

Next Steps: Additional funding is being sought, including for an international project office.