Proceedings of the 20th International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2010
Marine animals use sound extensively in an environment where vision is usually very limited and sound travels to much larger distances than it does in air. We also make extensive use of sound in the ocean and there is concern about the impact that the noise of human activities has on marine animals. This paper will review what is known about the effects of noise on marine animals in the context of their natural acoustic environment and also relate this to the effects of noise on terrestrial animals, particularly humans. It will discuss the wide range of audibility that marine mammals experience as a result of the variation in natural ambient noise and sound propagation, and how the noise from human activities compares with the noise from natural sources. It will also consider how the extensive knowledge of noise effects on terrestrial animals can be related to effects on marine animals. The challenges for further research will also be discussed, particularly the need to determine the longer term biological effects of noise.
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