The noisy spring

The noisy spring
The clicking of dolphins, the warbling of whales and the barking of sea lions have never failed to elicit smiles or shrills. These beautiful underwater creatures are again under threat; this time it is not due to overfishing, chemical pollution and habitat degradation but due to the amount of noise pollution we create.

In contrast to the ‘silent spring’ which accounts for the detrimental effects of pesticides on singing birds, the ‘noisy spring’ is the one which accounts for the negative effects of ever-increasing human generated noise on fishes and underwater mammals.

Sound travels five times faster in water than in air, as a consequence, its wavelengths are five times longer than in air; moreover, its attenuation takes longer time than in air. The impact of the growing sound on fishes is divided into four major domains:
  1. Distribution of fishes: disturbance and deterrence
  2. Fitness consequence: reduced growth and reproduction
  3. Predator-prey interactions: interference and community effects
  4. Communication and masking: range reduction and information loss

The anthropogenic noise can be distinguished into two classes, such as the non-intentional noise (the oil rigs, global freight transport, fishing vessels) and the intentional noise (sonogram to detect underwater debris).

Further research is still required to pinpoint the end result of these continued noises. We as humans have already been classified as one of the major producers of disasters. It is now time to rectify our mistakes. Since we cannot completely stop oil rigs, we can at least try to reduce the noise produced.

Let us compensate our past mistakes, let us create awareness!


How to cite this article:
Sruthi S. The noisy spring. BioLim O-Media. 25 November, 2015. 3(9).
Available from: http://www.biolim.com/read/BOC001A0096.