Friday, November 2, 2012

Ocean acoustics and Taiji Update

According to a story by Jon Bardin, Industrial whaling seems to have an unexpected consequence.  The oceans are quieter.

Last week at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Kansas City, Mo, research was presented that the volume in the ocieans has been "turned down".

The effects of man-made sound underwater is a topic of concern for marine researchers.  The sounds made by anything from speedboats to submarine sonar may be disrupting animals' acoustical landscape, making it difficult for them to migrate, hunt and mate.

However in  a new study by Michael Stocker and Tom Reuterdahl of Ocean Conservation Research in Lagunitas, CA, the oceans were actually louder in the past because of whale vocalizations.  According to the researchers, the waters in the Northern Atlantic in the early 19th century would have sounded as loud as a rock concert, measuring as high as 126 decibels.

With more human-made sounds with different acoustical properties, today's quieter oceans post a serious threat to underwater life.

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Nicole McLachlan's blog post

Things have been grim in Taiji for the past couple days.  Wednesday approximately 100 pilot whales were herded into the cove.  Wednesday, after a night of being forced into cramped nets following inhumanely being confused into the cove with banger boats, skiffs came in.  A few selected larger whales were dragged out of sight by their tails while the rest remained.  After the fisherman returned with the lifeless bodies of the chosen ones, the others were released.  By then, they were hungry, confused and injured.

Sadly it was reported that a baby was caught in the nets and died by her mother's side.  Another was spotted floating after the release, presumably too stressed, weak and hungry to carry on.

Check out Nicole's post above for the details.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Heather the new blog looks fantastic I love the sea background. I hope it all goes well for you.