CBD Expert Workshop on Underwater Noise and its Impacts on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity
It is clear that a human-caused modification that extends across 300,000 km2 or distances of 4,000 km from the noise source 80-95% days of the month, year-round, is an ecosystem-wide impact. That seismic airguns are the second highest contributor of human-caused underwater noise in total energy output per year, following only nuclear and other explosions, should underline this point. At least 37 marine species have been shown to be affected by seismic airgun noise. These impacts range from behavioral changes such as decreased foraging, avoidance of the noise, and changes in vocalizations through displacement from important habitat, stress, decreased egg viability and growth, and decreased catch rates, to hearing impairment, massive injuries, and even death by drowning or strandings. Seismic airgun noise must be considered a serious marine environmental pollutant.
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