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Michael Stocker Ocean Conservation Research

Ocean Conservation Research

Michael Stocker is an acoustician and naturalist by trade and a musician by avocation, he has written and spoken about bio-acoustics since 1992, presenting in national and regional hearings, national and international television, radio and news publications, and museums, schools, and universities. His understanding of both physics and biology has proven invaluable in court testimony […]

image of squid swimming

Ocean Noise Pollution Blowing Holes in Squids’ Heads

Thousands of Humboldt squid died off the coast of Oregon in 2004 and hundreds again in 2008. The culprit was originally considered a shift in deep-sea currents, but a new study pinpoints the physical trauma noise pollution can inflict on cephalopods and raises new concerns over the incidents of squid strandings. Dolphins and whales and […]

map of australia showing nopsema jurisdiction

BACKGROUND ON NOPSEMA

In February, 2014, Environment Minister Greg Hunt gave approval to the oil and gas industry streamlining the processes which previously required offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas activities to abide by regulations under both the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act) […]

great barrier reef

Noise Letter to the World Heritage Convention

We, the undersigned, are marine scientists and non-governmental organisations, united in our concerns
over the failure of the Australian federal and Queensland governments to adequately address the impacts
of anthropogenic noise resulting from the current and projected resource industry development in the
Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA).

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A DEAF WHALE IS A DEAD WHALE.

Underwater noise is deadly. Noisy oceans deafen marine mammals, the lungs of whales and dolphins haemorrhage, communication between mothers and calves is blurred, swim bladders in fish explode. Noisy oceans inhibit life.

Press play to hear the sound of a sperm whale being interrupted by an Airgun used for seismic exploration of the sea floor. These surveys can be heard thousands of miles from the source and are known to have killed fish. Their full impact on marine animals is yet to be understood.

About AFA

Australians for Animals Inc. (AFA) is one of the few organizations in Australia focused on noisy oceans. Underwater noise is caused by shipping, pile driving, port infrastructure, seismic exploration and military weapons. As the health of the world’s oceans is constantly being degraded by governments’ inaction and failure to acknowledge the importance of living oceans, our very source of life is at risk. Read More about “ABOUT US”

Impacts of Ocean Noise

“ Imagine a space ship is over your village and it’s sending explosions down to every 10 seconds, driving everybody crazy. The choice is you either leave or die. This is the whales’ world. Their social network is destroyed, their world seriously compromised, their immune and reproductive systems impacted by stress created by noise. Their acoustic world is 10% of what it should be.” Read More about “A Deaf Whale is a Dead Whale”

Listen to Ocean Sounds

Causes of Ocean Noise Pollution

SHIPPING

Shipping isn’t what it used to be. The romance of wind propelled vessels exploring the high seas is a thing of the distant past. Today, the surface of the word’s oceans are a platform for a massive, multi-billion dollar transport industry. This computer generated image shows the extent of shipping traffic coverage over the word’s oceans and gives a sense of the sheer scale of the enterprise. Read More about “SHIPPING”

MINING

The oil and gas industry is a substantial contributor to ocean noise pollution. Almost all of their activities contribute in some way to the disruption of natural ocean soundscapes. Seismic Surveys are continually being conducted in the world’s oceans in search of undiscovered fossil fuel deposits. Read More about “MINING”

MILITARY

Unfortunately marine animals are forced to share the word’s oceans with the navy. Each country with a navy uses sound as a means of detection, attack and defense and technologies have improved, so too has the efficiency and power of sonar and the high energy acoustic pulses used for enemy detection and counter weapon targeting. Read More about “MILITARY”

FISHING

Ocean Aquaculture is quickly becoming a massive industry in response to diminishing wild fish stocks and increased global demand for fresh seafood. Many techniques are employed to increase the efficiency of ocean fish farms, from modular deployment of nets to modified inputs and even altering the genetics of the farmed fish. Read More about “FISHING”

ENERGY

As the fossil fuel age comes to a close, sustainable alternatives such as off shore wind farms and tidal swings are on the increase. This is of course great news for reduction of carbon emissions and minimising the impacts of climate change. However, often in their implementation and function, these alternatives also create a tremendous amount of ocean noise pollution. Read More about “ENERGY”


 

Ocean Noise 101 by Sue Arnold

Sue Arnold, CEO of Australians for Animals Inc. delivered this presentation to the Australian Marine Sciences Association conference in 2014. Even without Sue’s compelling narration, the slideshow will give you a good overview of the key arguments and point you in the right direction for further reading.

THE GREAT SILENCE

It’s deafening. In the past l5 months, AFA has written to every member of the Federal Parliament, every Senator and our Co-ordinator had a lengthy meeting with the Minister for the Environment last year outlining the impacts of underwater noise and the urgent need for regulations or legislation.

Greg Hunt promised action on noise and although AFA provided him with an extensive backgrounder, nothing has transpired. Silence.

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Australians for Animals Inc. is a non-profit organisation that works tirelessly for the protection of the world's animals. Our current focus is on ocean animals that we believe are being threatened by the negligence of Governments and by ever expanding industry.

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