Autonomous Real-time Marine Mammal Detections

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Santa Barbara Channel Buoy

Study objectives

A DMON buoy was deployed in Santa Barbara Channel, California, on May 6, 2021 to monitor the presence of baleen whales in near real time by automatically detecting and identifying their calls. Whale detections, particulary detections of endangered blue whales, will be shared with scientists, government managers, and the public to help improve awareness and conservation efforts.

Project team: Mark Baumgartner (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Ana Sirovic (Texas A&M Galveston), and Doug McCauley, Morgan Visalli and Callie Steffan (Benioff Ocean Initiative).

Analysts: Megan Wood and ana Sirovic (Texas A&M Galveston)


Please email Mark Baumgartner at For a general desciption of the detection system and the autonomous platforms, visit


The DMON buoy was expertly prepared and deployed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Mooring Operations and Engineering Group - special thanks to Jeff Pietro, Kris Newhall, Don Peters, and John Kemp. Critical engineering support was provided by Leo-Paul Pelletier, Jim Partan, Tom Hurst, and Keenan Ball at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Support for the deployment and operation of the buoy was generously provided by the Benioff Ocean Initiative. Additional support for the near real-time analysis was provided by the Flora Family Foundation.