EUROPAM (2023 – 2026)

Seaglider Underwater_sound

EUROPAM (2023 – 2026)

Seaglider Underwater_sound

Full title: European Spatial-Temporal Large-Scale Sea Noise Management & Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Megafauna

Partners: Computer science and systems laboratory (LIS), University of Toulon, Toulon, France (lead), Sea Research Department, The National Park of Port-Cros, Parc National de Port Cros, Perols, France, Department of Earth and Environment Science, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, Department of Environmental impact, Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø, Norway, Department of Oceanography and Fisheries, Institute of Marine Research (IMAR), Horta, Portugal

    Funding: EU - Biodiversa+


    EUROPAM is a research project that proposes comparative spatio-temporal acoustic survey of megafauna biodiversity, and its management at a European scale. EUROPAM is based on innovative scientific instrumentation and algorithms, the so-called Bombyx sonobuoys, to increase the knowledge of anthropogenic impacts on marine life. The project is conducted on a wide scale that allows comparison between locations and types of disturbances, and also between some population segments. It is composed of researchers from many different fields, making the project federative and multi-disciplinary.

    Main objectives

    EUROPAM aims to increase the knowledge of anthropogenic impacts on marine megafauna through passive acoustic monitoring, on a wide scale that allows comparison between locations and sources of disturbances, and between population segments of e.g. sperm whales. The cornerstones to achieving the goals will be:

    • a comparative continuous passive acoustic monitoring in the Mediterranean Sea, in the Azores Atlantic Ocean, and offshore Norway, for an equivalent of 23 000 km2;
    • to compare marine soundscapes from the European Arctic to the Mediterranean Sea, and from relatively quiet marine protected areas to areas under strong human activity pressure;
    • to develop innovative Artificial Intelligence to describe and model marine soundscapes and their natural patterns (daily and seasonal) that allow us to build and feed a marine soundscape repository in the cloud;
    • a strict protocol that will allow the calibration of measurements and provide comparable data across a large range of temporal and spatial scales;
    • an additional key management output of EUROPAM is mitigation of whale-ship collision risks.

    Main activities

    EUROPAM will identify conservation areas and seasonality of species diversity, compare noisy with quiet areas, and measure noise level changes in relation to wind farm construction, new industrial offshore development and the exponentially increasing marine traffic. The project will monitor the Arctic, Atlantic, and Mediterranean Sea regions, which are all expected to be highly impacted by climate change. It addresses the topics highlighted in Theme 1 of this call, by establishing a comprehensive understanding of effective and resilient ecological networks, while contributing to enhanced species-based protection. Furthermore, the project will monitor exponentially increased marine traffic and observe species displacement, while comparing acoustics of across latitude gradients (between Mediterranean Sea, Azores and Norway) using state-of-the-art methodology. Europam has wide ranging applications and benefits. It is a cross-cutting subject with economic, social and political impacts. A preliminary stakeholder analysis has been conducted to identify key actors that will be actively involved in the project through outreach activities, like Knowledge Transfer Workshops.

    More information:

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