The East Coast Marine Mammal Acoustics Study (ECOMMAS) is a long-term project where acoustic data has been collected on dolphins and porpoise round the east coast of Scotland. Marine Scotland have just released the CPOD data collected between 2013 and 2016.

The ECOMMAS project was set up in order to collect data on the distribution of dolphins and porpoise along the east coast of Scotland. A total of 30 sites between Latheron (outer Moray Firth) and St Abbs (Berwickshire) have been collecting data on underwater noise (using SM2Ms) and echolocation clicks (using CPODS). The CPOD data for 2013 – 2016 are now available to download and to view. The data are presented are: Median porpoise/dolphin detection positive hours, for each site and proportion of porpoise/dolphin positive days for each site. The dataset can be accessed here. If you want to view the data in the Marine Scotland Maps NMPI then the links are:

These data can be used to assess how underwater noise produced by offshore activities such as offshore wind farm construction and oil and gas activities can impact on the distribution of coastal dolphins and porpoise around the east coast of Scotland.

Some really interesting work that has come of of the ECOMMAS project is a study that differentiates between dolphin species using CPOD data. While CPODS are great click logging devices that help us to detect echolocating species such as dolphins and porpoise, one of their limitations is that the CPOD KERNO classifier cannot discriminate between dolphin species. A new paper using the ECOMMAS data has recently been released that uses a GAM model to categorise CPOD click trains into different groups: broadband clicks (produced by bottlenose and common dolphins) and frequency-banded clicks (produced by Risso’s and white-beaked dolphins).  Check out the full paper here.

Check out some of our previous work using CPODS:

Image taken from the Marine Scotland ECOMMAS Topic Sheet 126 here.