Noisy Humans 'Drowning Out' Marine Mammals

Report urges humans to turn down industrial volume in world's oceans
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 15, 2008 12:40 PM CDT
A lost humpback whale calf swims around a yacht in the Sydney Harbor.   (AP Photo/Channel Nine)
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(Newser) – Whales and dolphins are seriously suffering from the noise that human industry and militaries release into the ocean, an animal-welfare group warns—and we need to turn the volume down before we do irreversible damage. Sonar is implicated for mass stranding and deaths of whales and dolphins, the BBC reports, and ocean noise is doubling each decade in some areas.

"Humanity is literally drowning out marine mammals," says an official of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The range of low-frequency calls by blue whales, for example, has been limited to 10% of what they were before engine-powered commercialism. Some restrictions on naval sonar and oil companies' seismic airguns are in place, but such activities remain essential to the global economy.