A New Take on Whale Conservation

By January 28, 2013 Ocean News


Have you ever wondered what the sound of a dolphin or whale would look like?  Well Mark Fischer of Aguasonic Acustics did just that.  By taking the recordings of dolphins and whales and applying the mathematical theory of wavelets he transforms the sounds into works of art.  Each different color represents a different frequency, with reds representing low frequency, greens and blues are medium, and violets show the highest frequencies.  “It’s a kind of photography to me,” Fischer says, “with mathematics as the lens and the computer as the camera.” He calls the result “the shape of the sound.”

Why should conservationists care?

This method of representing the shape of cetacean sounds has never been seen before.  It shows the complexities within each call and accentuates the differences and variety of calls between and among species.  These complexities were never seen before due to 255px-Akhumps_128_016_0_500cthe fact that sinusoidal waves (left), instead of wavelets, were being analyzed.  “Mr Fischer said he hopes his work will highlight the importance of sound to whales and dolphins and the amount of sound pollution being emitted by commercial ships.”  He also sells his work through whale song art, which donates 1% of their profits to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

This artist is using his own techniques to present and protect these amazing creatures, without having any background in marine conservation, just a passion for the animals and the unique sounds they make.  It goes to show that any person, with any background can contribute to the science of marine conservation.  Everyone has a certain skill, and most, if not all, can be applied to marine conservation in ways we haven’t even imagined yet!

Here’s a sampling of some of his cetacean work below.  You can check out all the images, including his other work on insects and birds on his website


White-Beaked Dolphin
White beaked dolphin


Northern Minke Whale

minke whale


Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

spotted dolphin


Humpback Whale

humpback whale


Blue Whale

blue whale


False Killer Whale

false killer whale


Cachalot (more commonly known as the Sperm Whale)

sperm whale


“Each sound has a unique and specific significance for the continuance of life in every ecosystem, and so every sound is a piece of art” -Mark Fischer


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