Because underwater sound travels much faster than light, marine animals rely greatly on their hearing in various behavioral contexts. This is where the issue of underwater noise pollution comes into play. The man-made noise coming from coasts and offshore activities drowns out the natural sounds of the ocean disrupting this fine-tuned soundscape and causing much harm to marine life. Before we go into details about this issue, let us first find out more about the ways animals use sound underwater.
Instead of the traditional quest for chocolate treats, this Easter, consider taking part in an egg hunt with a difference. Join the Shark Trust’s annual event - the Great Eggcase Hunt and go exploring the beach in search of the washed-up egg cases of sharks, skates, and rays. The charity’s initiative is not just a fun day out for the whole family, but also a big citizen science project that helps marine animal conservation.
Those of us who do not live right near the ocean, perceive the water pollution issue as something far distant. We often hear such numbers as 8 million tons of plastic being thrown into the ocean every year or 51 trillion of microplastic particles residing in the World Ocean, or that 80% of all garbage in the water is made of plastic. However, for some reason, we are not touched by these figures and remain passive.
There is much difficulty in trying to provide a definition of wildlife harassment, as there exist several different viewpoints revolving around this issue. Hopefully, none of us would purposely destroy a piece of coral or harm a sea turtle swimming by, but how can we know that no harm was done unintentionally, and fully comprehend the consequences of our presence in the water?