Aquaculture - Acoustic Deterrent Device (ADD) use: parliamentary report

Report to the Scottish Parliament on the use of acoustic deterrent devices by the Scottish aquaculture sector at finfish farms as required by section 15 of the Animals and Wildlife (Penalties, Protection and Powers) (Scotland) Act 2020.


Basran, C.J., Woelfing, B., Neumann, C. & Rasmussen, M.H. (2020). Behavioural responses of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to two acoustic deterrent devices in a northern feeding ground off Iceland. Aquatic Mammals, 46(6), 584-602.

Benjamins, S., Risch, D., Lepper, P. & Wilson, B. (2018). SARF112 – Influences of lower-frequency acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) on cetaceans in Scottish coastal waters. A study commissioned by the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF).

Brandt, M.J., Höschle, C., Diederichs, A., Betke, K., Matuschek, R., Witte, S. & Nehls, G. (2012). Far‐reaching effects of a seal scarer on harbour porpoises, Phocoena phocoena. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 23(2), 222-232.

Brandt, M.J., Hoeschle, C., Diederichs, A., Betke, K., Matuschek, R. & Nehls, G. (2013). Seal scarers as a tool to deter harbour porpoises from offshore construction sites. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 475, 291–302.

Coram, A., Gordon, J., Thompson, D., & Northridge, S. (2014). Evaluating and assessing the relative effectiveness of acoustic deterrent devices and other non-lethal measures on marine mammals. Scottish Government, 1–145.

Coram, A., Ragnarsson, V., Sparling, C.E. & Thomas, L. (2021). The use, impact and efficacy of acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) in aquaculture. Report to the Scottish Government. In preparation.

Dähne, M., Tougaard, J., Carstensen, J., Armin, R. & Nabe-Nielsen, J. (2017). Bubble curtains attenuate noise from offshore wind farm construction and reduce temporary habitat loss for harbour porpoises. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 580, 221–237.

Fairbairns, R., Booth, J., Walmsley, T., Menhenett, C. & Gordon, J. (1994). Molly: A minke whale in a small loch on the Scottish island of Lewis. European Research on Cetaceans, 8, 66.

Fjälling, A., Wahlberg, M. & Westerberg, H. (2006). Acoustic harassment devices reduce seal interaction in the Baltic salmon-trap, net fishery. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 63(9), 1751-1758.

Global Aquaculture Advocate (2018). Developments in closed-containment technologies for salmonids, part 2. Improved knowledge of closed-systems, innovations in aquafeeds.Workshop report.

Gordon, J., Blight, C., Bryant, E. & Thompson, D. (2015). Tests of acoustic signals for aversive sound mitigation with common seals. Sea Mammal Research Unit report to Scottish Government.

Gordon, J., & Northridge, S. (2002). Potential impacts of acoustic deterrent devices on Scottish marine wildlife. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report F01AA404. 1-63.

Götz, T. & Janik, V.M. (2010). Aversiveness of sounds in phocid seals: psycho-physiological factors, learning processes and motivation. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213, 1536-1548.

Götz, T. & Janik, V.M. (2011). Repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to sensitisation in subsequent avoidance behaviour and induces fear conditioning. BMC Neuroscience, 12(1), 30.

Götz, T. & Janik, V.M. (2013). Acoustic deterrent devices to prevent pinniped depredation: efficiency, conservation concerns and possible solutions. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 492, 285-302.

Götz, T. & Janik, V.M. (2015). Target‐specific acoustic predator deterrence in the marine environment. Animal Conservation, 18(1), 102-111.

Götz, T. & Janik, V.M. (2016). Non-lethal management of carnivore predation: long-term tests with a startle reflex-based deterrence system on a fish farm. Animal Conservation, 19, 212–221

Graham, I.M., Harris, R.N., Denny, B., Fowden, D.A.N. & Pullan, D. (2009). Testing the effectiveness of an acoustic deterrent device for excluding seals from Atlantic salmon rivers in Scotland. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66(5), 860-864.

Haller, D.R. & Lemon, D.D. (1994). Acoustic source levels of AirMar and PRA sealscarers. Dept. Fisheries and Oceans Contract Report No. XSA FP941-3-8025/00/A. 52 pp.

Harris, R.N., Harris, C.M., Duck, C.D. & Boyd, I.L. (2014) The effectiveness of a seal scarer at a wild salmon net fishery. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71(7), 1913-1920.

Hermannsen, L., Mikkelsen, L., Tougaard, J., Sveegaard, S. & Bang, K. (2015). Effects of seal scarers on harbour porpoises. Research note from the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE).

Jacobs, S.R. & Terhune, J.M. (2002). The effectiveness of acoustic harassment devices in the Bay of Fundy, Canada: seal reactions and a noise exposure model. Aquatic Mammals, 28(2), 147-158.

Johnston, D.W. (2002). The effect of acoustic harassment devices in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Biological Conservation, 108, 113-118.

Kastelein, R.A., Helder-Hoek, L., Gransier, R., Terhune, J.M., Jennings, N. & de Jong, C.A. (2015b). Hearing thresholds of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) for playbacks of seal scarer signals, and effects of the signals on behavior. Hydrobiologia, 756:89-103.

Kastelein, R. A., Hoek, L., Gransier, R., de Jong, C. A., Terhune, J. M. & Jennings, N. (2015a). Hearing thresholds of a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) for playbacks of seal scarer signals, and effects of the signals on behavior. Hydrobiologia, 756(1), 89-103.

Kastelein, R.A., Hoek, L., Jennings, N., de Jong, C.A.F., Terhune, J.M. & Dieleman, M. (2010). Acoustic mitigation devices (AMDs) to deter marine mammals from pile driving areas at sea: audibility and behavioural response of a harbour porpoise and harbour seals. COWRIE Ref: SEAMAMD-09 - Technical Report.

Kastelein, R.A., Horvers, M., Helder-Hoek, L., Van de Voorde, S., ter Hofstede, R. & van der Meij, H. (2017). Behavioral responses of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) to Faunaguard Seal Module sounds at two background noise levels. Aquatic Mammals, 43(4), 347-363.

Kyhn, L.A., Jørgensen, P.B., Carstensen, J., Bech, N.I., Tougaard, J., Dabelsteen, T. & Teilmann, J. (2015). Pingers cause temporary habitat displacement in the harbour porpoise Phocoena. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 526, 253-265.

Lepper, P.A., Gordon, J., Booth, C., Theobald, P., Robinson, S.P., Northridge, S. & Wang, L. (2014). Establishing the sensitivity of cetaceans and seals to acoustic deterrent devices in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 517.

Lucke, K., Siebert, U., Lepper, P.A. & Blanchet, M.A. (2009). Temporary shift in masked hearing thresholds in a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) after exposure to seismic airgun stimuli. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125(6), 4060-4070.

McGarry, T., Boisseau, O., Stephenson, S. & Compton, R. (2017). Understanding the effectiveness of acoustic deterrent devices on minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), a low frequency cetacean. ORJIP Project 4, Phase 2. RPS Report EOR0692. Prepared on behalf of The Carbon Trust. November 2017.

McGarry, T., De Silva, R., Canning, S., Mendes, S., Prior, A., Stephenson, S. & Wilson, J. (2020). Evidence base for application of acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) as marine mammal mitigation (Version 2.0). JNCC Report No. 615, JNCC, Peterborough. ISSN 0963-8091.

Mikkelsen, L., Hermannsen, L., Beedholm, K., Madsen, P.T. & Tougaard, J. (2017). Simulated seal scarer sounds scare porpoises, but not seals: species-specific responses to 12 kHz deterrence sounds. Royal Society Open Science, 4(7), 170286.

Morton, A. (2000). Occurrence, photo-identification and prey of Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorynchus obliquidens) in the Broughton Archipelago, Canada, 1984−1998. Marine Mammal Science, 16, 80−93

Morton, A.B. & Symonds, H.K. (2002). Displacement of Orcinus orca (Linnaeus) by high amplitude sound in British Columbia, Canada. ICES Journal of Marine Science 59, 71-80.

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). (2016). Technical guidance for assessing the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammal hearing: Underwater acoustic thresholds for onset of permanent and temporary threshold shifts. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR55, 178.

Northridge, S., Coram, A. & Gordon, J. (2013). Investigations on seal depredation at Scottish finfish farms. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Northridge, S., Gordon, J., Booth, C., Calderan, S., Cargill, A., Coram, A., Gillespie, D., Lonergan, M. & Webb, A. (2010). Assessment of the impacts and utility of acoustic deterrent devices. A report commissioned by SARF and prepared by SMRU.

Olesiuk, P.F., Nichol, L.M., Sowden, M.J. & Ford, J.K.B. (2002). Effect of the sound generated by an acoustic harassment device on the relative abundance and distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in retreat passage, British Columbia. Marine Mammal Science, 18(4): 843-862.

Quick, N.J., Middlemas, S.J. & Armstrong, J.D. (2004). A survey of antipredator controls at marine salmon farms in Scotland. Aquaculture, 230(1-4), 169-180.

Schaffeld, T., Ruser, A., Woelfing, B., Baltzer, J., Kristensen, J. H., Larsson, J., Schnitzler, J.G. & Siebert, U. (2019). The use of seal scarers as a protective mitigation measure can induce hearing impairment in harbour porpoises. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146(6), 4288-4298.

Schlundt, C.E., Finneran, J.J., Carder, D.A. & Ridgway, S.H. (2000). Temporary shift in masked hearing thresholds of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, and white whales, Delphinapterus leucas, after exposure to intense tones. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 107, 3496-3508.

Scotland Food and Drink (2017). Aquaculture growth to 2030: A strategic plan for farming Scotland's seas. Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group.

Scottish Government (2015). Report of the inaugural quinquennial review of the operation of seal licensing system under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. Edinburgh, Scottish Government. ISBN: 978-1-78544-628-3 (web only)

Scottish Government (2018). Marine Protected Area network - 2018 report to the Scottish Parliament. Edinburgh, Scottish Government. ISBN: 978-1-78781-497-4 (web only).

Scottish Government (2020a). Estimation of the wider economic impacts of the aquaculture sector in Scotland. A report to the Scottish Government prepared by Biggar Economics. ISBN: 978-1-80004-031-1 (web only).

Scottish Government (2020b). Second review of the operation of the seal licensing system under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. Edinburgh, Scottish Government. ISBN: 978-1-80004-093-9 (web only).

Southall, B.L., Bowles, A.E., Ellison, W.T., Finneran, J.J., Gentry, R.L., Green Jr, C.R., Kastak, D., Ketten, D.R., Miller, J.H., Nachtigall, P.E., Richardson, W.J., Thomas, J.A. & Tyack, P.L. (2007). Marine mammal noise exposure criteria: Initial scientific recommendations. Aquatic Mammals. 33, 411-509.

Southall, B.L., Finneran, J.J., Reichmuth, C., Nachtigall, P.E., Ketten, D.R., Bowles, A.E., Ellison, W.T., Nowacek, D.P. & Tyack, P.L. (2019). Marine mammal noise exposure criteria: Updated scientific recommendations for residual hearing effects. Aquatic Mammals, 45(2), 125-232.

Sparling, C., Sams, C., Stephenson, S., Joy, R., Wood, J., Gordon, J., Thompson, D., Plunkett, R., Miller, B. & Götz, T. (2015). The use of acoustic deterrents for the mitigation of injury to marine mammals during pile driving for offshore wind farm construction (Report No. ORJIP Project 4, Stage 1 of Phase 2).

Special Committee on Seals (2019). Scientific advice on matters related to the management of seal populations: 2019. Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews

Taylor, V.J., Johnston, D.W. & Verboom, W.C. (1997). Acoustic harassment device (AHD) use in the aquaculture industry and implications for marine mammals. Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics, 19(9), 267-275.

Terhune, J.M., Hoover, C.L. & Jacobs, S.R. (2002). Potential detection and deterrence ranges by harbor seals of underwater acoustic harassment devices (AHD) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 33(2), 176-183.

Thistle Environmental Partnership (TEP). (2010). Assessment of protocols and development of best practice contingency guidance to improve stock containment at cage and land-based sites. Volume 2, Supporting Information.

Thompson, P.M., Graham, I.M., Cheney, B., Barton, T.R., Farcas, A. & Merchant, N.D. (2020). Balancing risks of injury and disturbance to marine mammals when pile driving at offshore windfarms. Ecological Solutions and Evidence, 1(2), e12034.

Thompson, D., Coram, A.J., Harris, R.N. & Sparling, C.E. (2021). Review of non-lethal seal control options to limit seal predation on salmonids in rivers and at finfish farms. Report to the Scottish Government and Crown Estate Scotland. In preparation.

Tixier, P., Gasco, N., Duhamel, G. & Guinet, C. (2015). Habituation to an acoustic harassment device (ADD) by killer whales depredating demersal longlines. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72(5), 1673-1681.

Todd, V. L., Jiang, J. & Ruffert, M. (2019). Potential audibility of three acoustic harassment devices (ADDs) to marine mammals in Scotland, UK. International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration, 24(4), 792-800.

Whyte, K. F. (2015). Investigating seal depredation at Scottish salmon farms. Masters Thesis. University of St Andrews. pp 49.

Yurk, H. & Trites, A.W. (2000). Experimental attempts to reduce predation by harbor seals on out-migrating juvenile salmonids. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 129, 1360-1366.



Back to top