Peer Reviewed Publication
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Underwater sounds from human sources can have detrimental effects upon aquatic animals, including fishes. Thus, it is important to establish sound exposure criteria for fishes, setting out those levels of sound from different sources that have detrimental effects upon them, in order to support current and future protective regulations. This paper considers the gaps in information that must be resolved in order to establish reasonable sound exposure criteria for fishes. The vulnerability of fishes is affected by the characteristics of underwater sounds, which must be taken into account when evaluating effects. The effects that need to be considered include death and injuries, physiological effects, and changes in behavior. Strong emphasis in assessing the effects of sounds has been placed upon the hearing abilities of fishes. However, although hearing has to be taken into account, other actual effects also have to be considered. This paper considers the information gaps that must be filled for the development of future guidelines and criteria.
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