Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovering How Human-caused Sounds Affect Marine Mammals

Date:
October 1, 2008
Source:
European Science Foundation
Summary:
Marine mammal specialists consider the research needed to assess the effects of anthropogenic sound upon marine mammals. Marine mammals are an important component in the food-chain of the marine biotope. They rely largely on sound for their communication and organization, but these mechanisms are not completely understood.

Human activities produce a range of underwater sound frequencies that can interfere with marine mammal functions important for their survival.
Credit: iStockphoto/Klaas Lingbeek- Van Kranen

The Marine Board-ESF published its 13th Position Paper, which presents a view from marine mammal specialists on the research needed to assess the effects of anthropogenic sound upon marine mammals.*

Related Articles


Marine mammals are an important component in the food-chain of the marine biotope. They rely largely on sound for their communication and organisation, but these mechanisms are not completely understood.

The proposed research strategy is of key importance because both marine mammals and many economically important sea-based activities are at risk because of a lack of information about the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals.

Human activities produce a range of underwater sound frequencies that can interfere with marine mammal functions important for their survival.

Use of sound in the ocean has increased due to a growing number of scientific and military applications (e.g. seabed mapping, naval sonar) and many economic ocean-based activities such as oil exploitation and fisheries. This concern has triggered a number of investigations on the impacts of man-made sound on marine mammals, but to date, there has been no structured analysis of the full research challenge it presents.

“A scientific research strategy is clearly needed. First of all, interaction between anthropogenic sound and marine mammals is a complex problem, as the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals depend on many aspects, such as intensity and frequency of sounds, marine mammal species and their age, environmental conditions, etc. In addition, the physiological effects of sound in the oceans are not clearly understood.” says Marine Board Chair Lars Horn.

In its global assessment of cetacean species, released in august 2008, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) concluded that ocean noise posed a significant threat. These concerns have reached the larger public through exposure in popular press and media.

In spite of growing attention, defining and implementing measures to reduce the impacts of man-made sound on marine mammals remain seriously hindered by a lack of knowledge.

“There is a need to rapidly improve the state of knowledge by new research focussed on specific questions of high priority. This requires concerted, coordinated action across many expert groups within the scientific community” says Expert Group Chair Ian Boyd.

A key message of the Marine Board Position Paper is that a risk assessment framework needs to be used to define where the research effort can be applied with greatest effect.

The Position Paper concludes that to construct a full risk assessment, it is necessary to be able to make all the linkages between issues from sound production, through behaviour change, effects on life function and the effects on populations. In particular, there is a need to improve knowledge of how effects on life function influence vital rates.

The analysis presented in the Position Paper is a first step towards defining a full research strategy and will need further review and modification as additional intellectual attention is applied to this field.

*The research strategy presented in Marine Board Position Paper 13 results from the activities and proceedings of an Expert Group on anthropogenic sound and marine mammals convened at the joint European Marine Board and National Science Foundation (US) Workshop at Tubney House on October 4-8 2005 in Oxford, with financial and logistical support of the Marine Board.

Position paper: The Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammals


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Science Foundation. "Discovering How Human-caused Sounds Affect Marine Mammals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080930095335.htm>.
European Science Foundation. (2008, October 1). Discovering How Human-caused Sounds Affect Marine Mammals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080930095335.htm
European Science Foundation. "Discovering How Human-caused Sounds Affect Marine Mammals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080930095335.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox With Horrifying Injury Rescued and Released Back Into the Wild

Fox With Horrifying Injury Rescued and Released Back Into the Wild

RightThisMinute (Feb. 25, 2015) This wounded fox knew what she was doing when she wandered into the yard of a nature photographer. The photographer got "Scamp" immediately in the hands of Wildlife Aid and she was released back into the wild in no time. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins