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Styles Group, Acoustics and Vibration Specialists

Matiatia Marina

Role: Expert acoustics consultant
Client: Waiheke Marinas Ltd
Duration: 2010 – Present

Background

Matiatia is a sheltered bay with a relatively narrow entrance at the western end of Waiheke Island. The island’s busy passenger ferry terminal is located at the head of the bay and numerous boat moorings also take advantage of the calm location.

The challenge

Waiheke Marinas Ltd proposed building a 160-berth marina in the northeast corner of the bay. The company asked us to assess the potential environmental and underwater noise effects from the construction and operation of the proposed marina.

Hydrophone recording acoustic data from a popular ferry route

Hydrophone recording data from a popular ferry route

Downloading and initial analysis of acoustic data in the field

Downloading and initial analysis of acoustic data in the field

Our solution

Our remote hydrophone arrays provided continuous underwater noise measurements over several locations within and around Matiatia Bay, using equipment that’s depth rated to up to 100m. This kind of data acquisition is industry-leading in New Zealand and is the only accepted scientific method for obtaining representative ambient noise measurements worldwide.

The acquisition of good, scientifically-robust data is crucial for assessing potential impacts on resident marine life and ecosystems, because it allows us to better understand the current underwater soundscapes within the bay.

The data we collected:

  • Provides a better understanding of what animals are currently exposed to and how new noises in Matiatia Bay might interfere with their everyday tasks
  • Supports propagation studies, whereby impact radiuses can be mapped, ultimately leading to well-informed management