Researchers Find Right Whales Affected by Underwater Noise
August 20, 2012
Researchers say increasing amounts of underwater noise, largely from shipping traffic, are enveloping rare right whales in “acoustic smog” that makes it harder for them to communicate.
The endangered North Atlantic right whale relies far more on sound than sight, using distinctive noises to maintain contact.
A paper by federal scientists and Cornell University researchers published Wednesday estimates that in the last 50 years, the area where the whales can effectively communicate in Stellwagen Bank and surrounding waters off Massachusetts has fallen by two-thirds because of the noise.
The researchers say the racket is cutting down on the animals’ ability to gather and share vital information that helps them find food, avoid predators, reproduce and protect their young.
Follow New England Boating:
Don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter!
Each month our emailed newsletter keeps you up to speed on the top news items, videos, destinations, reviews and fishing articles on New England Boating, so you won’t miss a beat. It’s convenient, it’s free, and you can opt out at any time!