Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,043 articles and books

Map underwater noise to protect marine life, say scientists



Underwater noise from naval exercises, oil rigs and pleasure cruises pleasure cruise ncrucero de placer

pleasure cruise ncroisière f

pleasure cruise pleasure n
 in UK waters should be mapped and monitored to protect sensitive marine life, a high-level committee of experts reports today.

It wants ministers to introduce new regulations to protect whales, dolphins and other sea life, which are affected because they rely on sound to communicate, feed and navigate.

Peter Liss, professor of environmental science at the University of East Anglia “UEA” redirects here. For other uses, see UEA (disambiguation).
Academically, it is one of the most successful universities founded in the 1960s, consistently ranking amongst Britain's top higher education institutions; 19th in the Sunday Times University League Table 2006
, who chaired the group, said: "The sea is a much noisier place than it was 10 years ago and there is a growing body of evidence that it could cause these animals physiological harm."

Powerful naval sonar devices that send shockwaves through the water were blamed by some for disorienting dis·o·ri·ent  
tr.v. dis·o·ri·ent·ed, dis·o·ri·ent·ing, dis·o·ri·ents
To cause (a person, for example) to experience disorientation.

Adj. 1.
 the whale that swam swam  
v.
Past tense of swim.


swam
Verb

the past tense of swim

swam swim
 into the River Thames The River Thame (pronounced as "tame") is a river in southern England. It is now considered a tributary of the larger and better-known River Thames and should not be confused with it by the similarity of names.  last month, though the Ministry of Defence denied this and the resulting autopsy found no physical damage. Several strandings and mass beachings of whales have been associated with military exercises, though there is rarely direct evidence to link them.

Prof Liss said: "The military or the oil and gas industry often get the blame but lots of activities let off sounds in the sea." Scientific research ships, ferries and construction companies that use piledriving equipment to erect offshore wind turbines could all affect whales, he said.

The results of the report, prepared by the government inter-agency committee on marine science and technology, will feed into the forthcoming marine bill, a white paper on which is due later this year. It calls for the expansion of existing treaties, permits for noisy activities and wider cooperation between the relevant groups. The bulk of existing information on sources of underwater sound Underwater sound

The production, propagation, reflection, scattering, and reception of sound in seawater. The sea covers approximately 75% of the Earth's surface.
 is classified for military or commercial reasons.

The report also recommends carrying out controversial "controlled exposure" experiments to see how noise affects whales and dolphins. It says: "We realise there are ethical and political difficulties with this sort of work, but we consider that the potential gains outweigh out·weigh  
tr.v. out·weighed, out·weigh·ing, out·weighs
1. To weigh more than.

2. To be more significant than; exceed in value or importance: The benefits outweigh the risks.
 the disadvantages."

It is well known that very loud noises, such as those caused by seismic surveys, damage the hearing of whales directly, but more subtle effects on behaviour are harder to pinpoint. Sound waves travel long distances through water so fainter sounds might distract and disorient dis·o·ri·ent  
tr.v. dis·o·ri·ent·ed, dis·o·ri·ent·ing, dis·o·ri·ents
To cause (a person, for example) to experience disorientation.

Verb 1.
 animals further away.
Copyright 2006 guardian.co.uk
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Feb 13, 2006
Words:374
Previous Article:My new £30 suit
Next Article:I'm lovin' it



Related Articles
The unquiet oceans: undersea noise experiments threaten the sensitive hearing - and communications - of marine mammals.
Ocean Racket.
Sea notes: navy ships send sounds into the sea to hone in on underwater objects. Could the noise be harming ocean life?
Counting sea creatures.
Coral gardens.
UN recognizes dangers of ocean noise.
Caught on camera.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters