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28 October 2014

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You are in: Cornwall > Marine Watch > Marine Features > Saved by the C-POD

A whale in the Antarctic

Saved by the C-POD

A technology developed by a Cornwall marine biologist to reduce levels of dolphin and porpoise bycatch is now being used all over the world. The 3rd prototype known as a C-POD is the brainchild of Dr Nick Tregenza. BBC Cornwall find out more...

Dr Nick Tregenza explains that the C-POD device listens to all the sounds in the sea and picks up those that resemble sounds coming from dolphins, porpoises and whales.

The data is then analysed to find out what animals have been frequenting the area and what they were doing.

Listen to the interview by BBC Radio Cornwall's James Churchfield with Dr Nick Tregenza to find out more about the C-POD and how the data on population numbers, movement patterns and habitat is collected using the device:

Before this technology was developed, the only reliable source of collating data about these creatures was done by sight, which of course is very difficult baring in mind most of these animals spend more than 95% of their time beneath the surface of the sea.

The instrument is a result of work with the Newlyn Fishermen who deployed the devices on their nets leading to some unknown discoveries.

A diving dolphin

A diving dolphin

Dr Tregenza explains, "...we discovered things we just didn't know before, that porpoises actually mostly avoided their nets quite well, they were around the nets quite a lot without getting caught. Before that we thought the porpoises blundered into the nets every time and got caught. 

"That was a big step forward and since then we have found out different things in different parts of the world."

The C-POD is now used in 13 different countries many of those being very far flung and deep places such as Canada, New Zealand, Antarctica in the Amazon.

There were 3 pods used 1,000 metres below the surface in the Antarctic for 3 years moored on an ice shelf with other oceanographic equipment which provided data on whales diving more than a kilometre deep. 

They have also been sent out to the Gulf of Mexico to monitor the Vaquita - a very small cetacean - a little more like a tiny porpoise which very seriously endangered.

last updated: 11/08/2008 at 15:48
created: 11/08/2008

You are in: Cornwall > Marine Watch > Marine Features > Saved by the C-POD

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