Australian Petroleum Exploration Association
The primary environmental concern from marine seismic surveys is the effect of the low frequency noise source on marine animals. A full spectrum of possible direct effects includes: lethal effects; pathological damage to hearing systems or other organs; behavioural changes, including repulsion from the source, startle and alarm responses and attraction to the source; and interference with the use of acoustic communication signals, or naturally produced cues used by marine animals. Indirect effects may also arise for some animals, such as changes in the abundance or behaviour of prey animals. This review defines the extent of these types of effect and elaborates on any influence with regard to the Australian marine fauna. Fauna groups discussed include plankton, invertebrates, turtles, fish, the little penguin and marine mammals such as: whales, sea lions, seals and dugong.
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