Researching Whale Communication
We are a nonprofit research organization exploring the sounds of whales and dolphins in northern Norway. We are studying their vocal and social behavior and monitoring human impacts.
By involving the public through art and education, together we can help preserve marine habitats and the worldwide marine mammal conservation effort.
Ocean Sounds is an environmental nonprofit organization that focuses on research and conservation of marine mammals in the arctic waters of northern Norway, in the Lofoten Islands and the surrounding Vestfjorden area. Whales and dolphins are impacted by so many human pressures; climate change, plastic pollution, chemicals, and noise pollution just to name a few. Through our research and education we are trying to mitigate the negative effects humans have upon the marine life. Our marine biologists are studying how climate change may influence whale and dolphin migration patterns and habitat use and the anthropogenic impacts including noise in their environment.
Our researchers observe among other species the orcas and long finned pilot whales' behavior to gain insight into their social interactions, foraging strategies, learned behaviors, mating behaviors and communication. The vocalizations are recorded and studied to better understand how they communicate and transmit information. By examining the top predators and other marine mammals, we can assess the overall health of our oceans, right down to specific populations of marine life. The research focuses on educating and engaging with the public to raise awareness about the dramatic effect our seemingly inconsequential actions can have.
We have engaged with the community offering educational lectures and exhibits, previously offered university courses and bachelor and master theses and we are currently working towards building a children’s educational program. We would also like to create a whale center with visual and audio displays to help educate the public about whales. One of the most directly beneficial areas of study is the impact of anthropogenic factors like marine debris, nets, by-catch, pollution and noise on marine mammals, their food sources and their habitats. This research shows us exactly which human behaviors are causing more harm to marine mammal life, so we can improve those behaviors. Saving whales and dolphins from human threats starts with research and education of the public and policy-makers. Your contribution makes it possible to initiate a positive change for these magnificent animals and we can’t do it without you!
Our goal is to understand the vocal communication of the whales during different behavioral contexts. Using non-invasive audio recordings and photographing natural markings for identification we observe the orcas over time. We have classified their vocalizations into a vocal repertoire that we continue to expand upon. We also study human impacts on the orcas and their distribution over time.
Whale Sounds Album
The whale sounds album features local marine mammals...
Sound is everything for these animals and like I do, want you to be able to dive into their world, to dive into their sounds. Listening to them is a huge pan of what we need, to better manage our world. It's about putting yourself in the perspective of the animals.
You can't do this with pictures or film footage and you can't even do it by watching whales, you have to be able to listen!
This album represents the best recordings of our research and is now available online and it is my pleasure to give you the chance to listen to it online.