Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography (2007)

DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.11.006


Echolocation behaviour of a harbor porpoise and six finless porpoises was recorded in open-water systems using acoustic data loggers (A-tag). In total 1359 click trains were recorded during 4.6 h for the harbor porpoise and 46,240 click trains were recorded during 82.3 h for the finless porpoises. The harbor and finless porpoises produced sonar click trains every 12.3 and 6.4 s on average, respectively. During the inter-click-train interval, the porpoises were silent or produced clicks below 148 dB re. 1╬╝Pa, the detection threshold of the tag. Ninety percent of the inter-click-train intervals were 20 s or less in both species. This means that porpoises frequently produce intense click trains. Click-train intervals lasting over 50 s constituted 1% of the total intervals in finless porpoises and 4% in the harbor porpoise. Both species swam without intense clicks for less than 10 m in most cases, but occasionally remained silent or used undetected low-intensity clicks for more than 1 min. During these periods, the porpoises would be susceptible to entanglement in fishing nets.