High rates of vessel noise disrupt foraging in wild harbour porpoises (Phocena phocoena).

Open Access Peer Reviewed Publication 2018

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Shipping is the dominant marine anthropogenic noise source in the world’s oceans, yet we know little about vessel encounter rates, exposure levels and behavioural reactions for cetaceans in the wild, many of which rely on sound for foraging, communication and social interactions. Here, we used animal-borne acoustic tags to measure vessel noise exposure and foraging efforts in seven harbour porpoises in highly trafficked coastal waters. Tagged porpoises encountered vessel noise 17–89% of the time and occasional high-noise levels coincided with vigorous fluking, bottom diving, interrupted foraging and even cessation of echolocation, leading to significantly fewer prey capture attempts at received levels greater than 96 dB re 1 µPa (16 kHz third-octave). If such exposures occur frequently, porpoises, which have high metabolic requirements, may be unable to compensate energetically with negative long-term fitness consequences. That shipping noise disrupts foraging in the high-frequency-hearing porpoise raises concerns that other toothed whale species may also be affected.

Link To Publication

Similar Research

Influences of man-made noise and other human actions on cetacean behaviour

Pay-walled Journal Article 1995

Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology

Behavioral reactions of cetaceans to man-made noises are highly variable, ranging from attraction (e.g. bow riding by dolphins) or no response through short-term changes in behaviour...
Read More

A Summary of Existing and Future Potential Treatments for Reducing Underwater Sounds from Oil and Gas Industry Activities

Pay-walled Conference 2007

OCEANS 2007

This paper summarizes the efforts undertaken by the author to identify existing and future potential methods to reduce underwater sound levels created by nearly all oil...
Read More

Sounds from an oil production island in the Beaufort Sea in summer: Characteristics and contribution of vessels

Pay-walled Journal Article 2005

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

The objective of this study was to determine the levels, characteristics, and range dependence of underwater and in-air sounds produced during the open-water seasons of 2000–2003...
Read More

Ship noise and cortisol secretion in European freshwater fishes

Pay-walled Journal Article 2006

Biological Conservation

Underwater noise pollution is a growing problem in aquatic environments and as such may be a major source of stress for fish. In the present study,...
Read More

Criteria and Thresholds of U.S. Navy Acoustic and Explosive Effects Analysis.

Open Access Report 2012

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Systems Centre Pacific

Sounds produced from naval activities can be divided into seven categories: (1) Sonars and other active acoustic sources; (2) Explosive detonations; (3) Ship noise; (4) Aircrafts...
Read More

Harbour porpoises react to low levels of high frequency vessel noise.

Open Access Peer Reviewed Publication 2015

Scientific Reports

Cetaceans rely critically on sound for navigation, foraging and communication and are therefore potentially affected by increasing noise levels from human activities at sea. Shipping is...
Read More

Ambient Underwater Noise Levels at Norra Midsjöbanken during Construction of the Nord Stream Pipeline.

Open Access Journal Article 2012

Nord Stream

Norra Midsjöbanken is a Natura 2000 area situated approximately 50 km east of the southern tip of Öland island in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)....
Read More

The potential impact of 1-8 kHz active sonar on stocks of juvenile fish during sonar exercises.

Open Access Report 2005

Norwegian Defence Research Establishment

The mortality threshold for juvenile herring exposed to sonar signals is 180-190 dB (re 1μPa), and for other species even higher. This report analyses the potential...
Read More

Behavioral responses of herring (Clupea harengus) to 1–2 and 6–7 kHz sonar signals and killer whale feeding sounds.

Pay-walled Peer Reviewed Publication 2009

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Military antisubmarine sonars produce intense sounds within the hearing range of most clupeid fish. The behavioral reactions of overwintering herring (Clupea harengus) to sonar signals of...
Read More

Effects of exposure to intermittent and continuous 6–7 kHz sonar sweeps on harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) hearing

Pay-walled Peer Reviewed Publication 2015

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Safety criteria for mid-frequency naval sonar sounds are needed to protect harbor porpoise hearing. A porpoise was exposed to sequences of one-second 6–7 kHz sonar down-sweeps,...
Read More