Members of ORCA Ireland and Huawei discuss the Smart Whale Sounds Project, which aims to create a real-time monitoring system to protect Irish marine life.

A Cork project has been making strides in learning the sounds made by Irish cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), with the goal of keeping them safe.

The Smart Whale Sounds project uses a combination of acoustics and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the noises made by these creatures off Ireland’s south coast. The project is led by Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA) Ireland and supported by Huawei Ireland.

At the OceanTech Summit event, experts behind the project and those in the environmental tech sector discussed the benefits this type of project can achieve.

Emer Keaveney, co-founder and executive director of ORCA Ireland, discussed the “flagship technology” behind the project – the Cork Acoustics Buoy. This is acting as both “an aid to navigation and a data buoy”, with the end goal of having a automated species classification system that can alert ships if they are approaching cetacean waters.


Words by Leigh Mc Gowran