Noise pollution under the oceans is causing animals like seals and porpoises to ‘shout’ at each other so they can hear, according to new research.
The harmful effects of overfishing and deep-sea trawling have been extensively documented, but another huge and less well-known threat to marine life is noise pollution. Man-made sonar emanations disorientate cetaceans, sea turtles, and fish to such an extent that they end up being driven out of their natural habitats or even suffering shoal collapse.
Source: The Economist/Youtube
Many things contribute to noise pollution under the sea. Seismic testing, ship engines, and underwater turbines are some of the largest contributors. Pile drivers bash huge columns into the seabed to create ocean turbines and many conservationists are begging for them to find another way to do this without causing damaging noise pollution.
A study published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society found that these poor animals are screaming at each other like humans have to do at a crowded nightclub.
The lead author of the study, Professor Jakob Tougaard said, “Harbor porpoises and harbor seals are of particular interest with respect to pile driving.” These animals are the most common marine mammals in shallow western European waters and are acoustically sensitive. Western European waters are the new center for offshore wind farming, which is greatly affecting marine life.
The team of Danish researchers looked at hearing sensitivity by attaching suction cups to the animals’ skin and measuring electrodes. They found that these animals have had to communicate much louder to be able to hear each other.
Seismic testing also greatly affects underwater life, including whales. Seismic testing is an oil and gas experiment consisting of blasting the seafloor with airguns to map the fossil fuels located below. The airgun blasts can reach more than 250 decibels. To put it into perspective, sounds above 150 decibels have the potential to cause life-threatening issues, and sounds between 170-200 can cause lethal issues or even burst lungs. Sounds above 240 decibels can literally explode heads.
- Paris Installs First Noise Sensor to Fight Noise Pollution
- Seismic Blasts From Oil Drilling Are Harming Whales! Sign Petition to Stop This
- Noise Pollution Found to Harm Over 100 Animal Species
- Noise Pollution is Affecting Whale Songs, Preventing Them from Contacting Each Other
- Animal Activists Sue to Stop Seismic-Mapping Companies Harming Marine Life!
- Noise Pollution Stresses Out Whales
- New ‘Silent Oceans’ Campaign Raises Awareness about Oceanic Noise Pollution
- Three Beached Whales on Greek Island Likely Linked to Seismic Testing
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on the App Store. With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it is the largest meatless, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy!
Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!