Using line acceleration to measure false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) click and whistle source levels during pelagic longline depredation
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) depredate pelagic longlines in offshore Hawaiian waters. On January 28, 2015 a depredation event was recorded 14 m from an integrated GoPro camera, hydrophone, and accelerometer, revealing that false killer whales depredate bait and generate clicks and whistles under good visibility conditions. The act of plucking bait off a hook generated a distinctive 15 Hz line vibration. Two similar line vibrations detected at earlier times permitted the animal's range and thus signal source levels to be estimated over a 25-min window. Peak power spectral density source levels for whistles (4–8 kHz) were estimated to be between 115 and 130 dB re 1 μPa2/Hz @ 1 m. Echolocation click source levels over 17–32 kHz bandwidth reached 205 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m pk-pk, or 190 dB re 1 μPa @ 1 m (root-mean-square). Predicted detection ranges of the most intense whistles are 10 to 25 km at respective sea states of 4 and 1, with click detection ranges being 5 times smaller than whistles. These detection range analyses provide insight into how passive acoustic monitoring might be used to both quantify and avoid depredation encounters.