The statement that we know more about outer space than we do about our own oceans is very true. These studies discover potential harmful effects to more than marine wildlife. “It’s not just about annoying whales and dolphins. To these animals, sound – whether a chronic drone or intermittent blast — can be a serious problem. It has behavioral effects, like driving cetaceans away from food, forcing them to breach or surface aburptly, or disrupting communication.”
The residents of California’s Santa Monica Bay have some rather noisy neighbors—and they’re not happy about it. That is the conclusion of a new study which shows that blue whales feeding off the coast of California stop calling to each other when a nearby naval base powers up its sonar for training exercises.
It’s not exactly news that sonar can disturb whales. What’s different about this study, conducted by a team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego for the journal PLoS One, is that it shows an underwater sound outside a baleen whale’s vocalization range can still affect its calling behavior. (Baleen whales – which include the blue, humpback and right — emit deep bass notes well below the ping of sonar.) Because the endangered blue whale may depend on communication to keep its family group together and alert them to the presence of food, the…
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