Recent discoveries suggest that the noise in the ocean is not just affecting large mammals. It can also impact how well smaller animals grow representing a serious threat to the balance of ocean eco-system, on which we all rely, and therefore – a threat TO US ALL.
Support the North Atlantic All-Women Expedition (NAAWE) to study the effects of sound pollution on the ocean ecosystem.
With over 50,000 ships around the world, with oil and gas corporations carrying out seismic explorations every few seconds for weeks and months on end, off-shore construction and high intensity military sonar, the ocean is being polluted by constant and unbearably loud underwater noise.
We’ve seen the effects of this noise, causing whales to beach themselves, literally escaping the noise that they’re constantly exposed to in the ocean.
It’s not only large mammals, however, who rely on sound to communicate, and are therefore affected by this.
Tiny animals too, especially in the early stages of their lives, rely on sound as part of their lives and development.
Dr. Raeanne Miller from the University of the Highlands and Islands and the Scottish Association of Marine Science is researching the recent discovery that sound pollution is disrupting the lives of these vitally important tiny animals.
It’s important because tiny animals (invertebrates) are the basis of the ocean ecosystem, and humans around the globe depend on them for food. One billion people around the world rely on fish as a primary source of food or income. Fish, mussels, oysters and crabs all feed on tiny animals (plankton) that use sound as a crucial part of their development. If sound disrupts the lives of these animals, the fish we rely on for our sustenance will starve.
Sound pollution is effectively threatening fish stocks and many of the declines in fisheries around the world may be due to this.
So, by upsetting the ocean ecosystem, there’s a threat to us on two counts:
If there were no more plankton and larvae, there would be no more fish in the sea.
And, plankton and algae provide us with half of the oxygen we breath so if they die, we will not survive.