Anthropogenic Noise Pollution And Its Effects On Cetaceans

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Anthropogenic Noise Pollution and Its Effects on Cetaceans
Cetaceans use sound extensively in both communication, hunting, and navigation. However as humanity continues to make use of the ocean we are constantly filling it with equipment that produces high amounts of sound. These devices are starting to have an impact on cetaceans worldwide, from mass strandings often linked to military exercises to area denials caused by busy commercial shipping lanes and seismic surveys. If consideration is not taken towards this problem now it could develop into something that could have degrading effects on cetacean populations in the future. Sound waves are nothing more than an energy transfer through a medium be it through a liquid, solid, or a gas. Sound pressure or intensity is measured on logarithmic scale in decibels dB which increases on an order of magnitude. For instance a quiet conversation would be around 30 dB and whereas the human pain threshold would be just over 100 dB. While the pitch or frequency of the sound is measured in hertz or Hz, the higher the hertz the higher the pitch of the sound and vice versa (Hildebrand, 2004).
Anthropologic noise pollution can come from many different sources, some of the more common ones are commercial shipping, acoustic deterrent devices, military sonar, and explosives (used in some seismic surveys for oil and gas as well as military exercises). The main focus will be on military sonar use, seismic surveys, and acoustic deterrent

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