Fixed autonomous acoustic recording devices (autonomous recorders [ARs]) are defined as any electronic recording system that acquires and stores acoustic data internally (i.e., without a cable or radio link to transmit data to a receiving station), is deployed semi-permanently underwater (via a mooring, buoy, or attached to the sea floor), and must be retrieved to access the data. More than 30 ARs were reviewed. They varied greatly in capabilities and costs, from small, hand-deployable units for detecting dolphin and porpoise clicks in shallow water to larger units that can be deployed in deep water and can record at high-frequency bandwidths for over a year, but must be deployed from a large vessel. The capabilities and limitations of the systems reviewed herein are discussed in terms of their effectiveness in monitoring and studying marine mammals.
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