Noise pollution turning blue whales deaf

Last Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 18:32

London: The world largest animal, the blue
whale is slowly turning deaf due to increasing noise pollution
in the ocean waters by humans, according to a new research.

The blue whales are suffering from hearing loss, they are
being forced to increase their `singing` to cope with noise
pollution and where displaying behavioural changes due to
man-made noise, scientists found.

The endangered blue whale uses sonar to navigate, locate
prey, avoid predators and communicate. The increasing use of
hi-tech sonar by ships, the noise of propellers, seismic
surveys, sea-floor drilling, and low-frequency radio
transmissions have made oceans noisier and is interfering with
whales communication signals, according to a Daily Telegraph
report.

Zoologist Lucia Di Iorio, of the University of Zurich,
analysed the song of blue whales through microphones in the St
Lawrence estuary off Canada`s north east coast over an eleven
day period in August 2004.

"We found that blue whales called consistently more on
seismic exploration days than on non-exploration days as well
as during periods within a seismic survey day when the sparker
was operating," she was quoted by the paper.

"This study suggests careful reconsideration of the
potential behavioural impacts of even low source level seismic
survey sounds on large whales. This is particularly relevant
when the species is at high risk of extinction as is the blue
whale," added Di Iorio.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 18:32

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