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Ocean Noise: Sea Mammals Particularly Affected

Fatal Noise In The Oceans: Sea Mammals Particularly Affected

By Marietta Gross, Austria.

Los Angeles - Diesel engines of boats, acoustic locating systems of submarines, and oil boring on the sea-floor are an increasing threat for sea mammals. The US-American nature conversation organisation NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) presented a report in Los Angeles, which says that the high noise level of the oceans disturbs disorientates whales and dolphins.

When searching for nourishment, or a partner for pairing, the sea mammals rely on their auditory senses when recognizing endangerments. Ocean noise causes long term behavioural disorders, hearing loss, even death, according to estimations of the Californian nature conservationists.

This report is based on a study that began in 1999. It details results from stranded whales, which were exposed to sonar equipment of submarines. The study found the whales had suffered brain haemorrhages and auditory damage. It also found liver and kidney injuries. "Such symptoms have never before been found in sea mammals," said Michael Jasny, author of the study.

In October 2005, the NRDC sued the US-Marines at a Federal Court in Los Angeles. The environmentalists tried to have the courts instruct the Marines to regulate medium-frequent sonar-equipment. The fishing industry was also prompted to limit the use of acoustic locating systems.

According to the report oil and gas exploration and exploitation damages fishing stocks. Particularly damaging, the report showed, were borings on the ocean-floor. This jeopardized halibut, codfish and other fish species. "It was shown, that some fish species suffer internal ear damage that seriously affects their ability of survival“, said Jasny.

ENDS

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