News24

US coast too noisy for whales

2012-08-15 22:42

Boston - A study off the Massachusetts coast has concluded that increasing amounts of underwater noise, largely from shipping traffic, is surrounding rare right whales in an "acoustic smog", making it harder for them to communicate.

The endangered North Atlantic right whale relies far more on sound than sight, using distinctive noises to maintain contact.

A paper by federal scientists and Cornell University researchers published on Wednesday estimates that in the last 50 years, the area where the whales can effectively communicate in Stellwagen Bank and surrounding waters off Massachusetts has fallen by two-thirds because of the noise.

They say that's cutting down on the animals' ability to gather and share vital information that helps them find food, avoid predators, reproduce and protect their young.

Comments
  • Pulverturm - 2012-08-16 09:02

    It makes me sad that we as humans have such a detrimental effect on the nature that surrounds us!

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