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.