RS Aqua’s Orca Recorder enables conservation research in GB Row 2020

By July 22, 2020News

On 5th July 2020, GB Row team Exe Endurow set off on a world record attempt to row around Great Britain in the fastest time ever. As it is non-stop, unsupported and faces numerous strong tides, currents and possible bad weather, the race is considered one of the toughest in world rowing.

Alongside rowing, the team will be collecting underwater acoustic and microplastic data in support of marine conservation research. RS Aqua is supporting this research and provided one of our Orca underwater acoustic recorders to the GB Row team. The Orca recorder sits in a small peli-case on the boat during the race, and records for 15 minutes at a time, every half hour. It is connected to a broadband hydrophone which RS Aqua engineers embedded into the boat’s rudder.

Rowing team in a boat.

Additionally, this custom underwater recording system provides a listening bandwidth capable of recording everything from low frequency ship noise up to the high frequency ultrasonic clicks used by protected marine mammal species such as the Harbour Porpoise and Bottlenose Dolphin.

Once the team returns, the data collected from the Orca recorder will be analysed by scientists at the University of Portsmouth to help identify coastal areas of noise pollution and hotspots of marine mammal activity. It will form the first end to end underwater soundscape encircling Great Britain.