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.*

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 September 30, 2014 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
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