Thursday, December 2, 2021

If marine noise pollution is bad, deep-sea mining could add to the cacophony - Mongabay.com

Last updated Wednesday, November 24, 2021 09:28 ET , Source: NewsService

  • A new report suggests that the noise pollution produced by deep-sea mining activities could have far-reaching effects on the marine environment, from surface to seafloor.
  • While there are many studies that measure the impacts of noise pollution on marine life, more research is needed to fully understand how sound from deep-sea mining could affect the ocean.
  • Due to the paucity of information, experts say a precautionary approach to deep-sea mining noise is required and that clear regulations must be put into place by the International Seabed Authority.
  • While deep-sea mining has yet to begin, a subsidiary of Canada-based The Metals Company plans to start mining in less than two years.

It’s not easy to try to describe how a dolphin experiences sound in the ocean, says Lindy Weilgart, a noise pollution expert at Dalhousie University in Canada.

“We have terrestrial ears and we’re in air, right?” Weilgart told Mongabay in a video call. “So you think, ‘Oh, so the ear’s a bit different,’ but it’s also how they receive sounds. We receive it directly into our inner ear, whereas for dolphins, it’s conducted through their lower jaw. And because [their bodies] are mostly water, the sound couples very efficiently into their bodies.”

While reluctant to make a comparison, Weilgart said that dolphins and whales might experience underwater sound similarly to how we hear low pitches on a cranked-up stereo.

“You would feel it in your lungs,” she said. “I suspect that’s more the case with...

Read Full Story: https://news.mongabay.com/2021/11/if-marine-noise-pollution-is-bad-deep-sea-mining-could-add-to-the-cacophony/

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