Scientists develop beluga vocalisation simulator for greater catches

Scientists develop beluga vocalisation simulator for greater catches

16 March 2023

Far Eastern scientists have created an acoustic system that can simulate the vocalisations of beluga whales, Igor Dolmatov, director of the National Research Centre of Marine Biology at the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told TASS.


According to Dolmatov, the system, developed in cooperation with several other institutes, can boost fish catches in northern latitudes.


“The system recorded the sounds emitted by beluga whales. Scientists studied them and were able to determine what the animals ‘said’ in case of danger or while chasing a school of fish. The system can reproduce these sounds, and they can be used for commercial fishing projects,” Dolmatov explained. 


According to Dolmatov, beluga whales chew nets and scare away fish; this is a problem in the northern seas. The new system can deter belugas without harming them and boost catches by forcing fish to form large schools that are easier to catch.


The devices have already been tested, and experts have obtained preliminary data that fishing ships equipped with these systems catch more squid and fish.


“So far, we have conducted only two tests, but we will continue to try them out and to analyse the effectiveness of these devices,” Dolmatov noted.


The project for deciphering the beluga whales’ language involves Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University, the Pacific Branch of the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, and Far Eastern Federal University, whose specialists are currently working at the Primorye Oceanarium.