whales and sound

From: Pieter Folkens (animalbytes@earthlink.net)
Date: Thu Nov 06 2003 - 02:26:26 EST

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    You have come to a conclusion already?

    I suggest you segregate the issue between anthropogenic ship/boat noise
    and research/military low-frequency sound events. The two issues are
    very different. The previous issue essentially propagates a pervasive
    'white noise' into the ocean. Although it seems to be increasing, the
    direct effects on marine mammals is not clear. Prop noise can be
    mitigated with high-tech multi-blade props. It also appears that
    direct-drive gas turbine engines on larger ships reduces noise and
    vibrations over the conventional diesel-electrics. Be these are
    expensive and not likely to find their way into bulk cargo shipping
    (such as tankers and ore carriers) or foreign fleets.

    The latter issue is obviously catastrophic for certain types of whales.
    The only solution I see for this is to not do it. There are other ways
    to find foreign submarines without blowing away all the beaked whales
    in the ocean.


    Pieter Folkens

    > I am currently doing a research project on "The effects of human
    > generated
    > sounds on marine mammals", for my first year biology course at the
    > University
    > of Victoria. I have concluded that sounds caused by shipping traffic
    > and
    > various oceanology projects involving the use of low-frequency sounds
    > can have
    > some negative effects on the behavior and health of whales. And I am
    > wondering if there are any methods to solve this problem?
    > Thank you.
    > Chi-On Leung

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