/ ©: USFSW/Brad Benter

Whales & ocean noise

Whales depend on their hearing to locate food, raise calves, and find mates.
But undersea noise pollution - from oil and gas exploration, ships, and other industrial sources - makes it difficult for whales to find each other. It can even damage their hearing.

A new report from WWF looks at ways we can make our oceans quieter - and give whales a better chance for romance.

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Listen to ocean sounds

Large ship traffic, offshore oil exploration and development, and military exercises are all contributing to a barrage of noise buffeting ocean life. This cacophony is hard on whales that use sound for essential communication - especially in previously quiet oceans, such as the Arctic.


Try mixing industrial and whale sounds below, to hear the soundscape for yourself.


Sounds provided by the Scripps Whale Acoustics Laboratory, UCSD




SOLUTIONS

Here's how governments can quieten our oceans:
  • Reduce ocean noise at its source
  • Support research on technologies to reduce noise created by oil exploration, commercial shipping, and pile driving
  • Make parts of the ocean important for whales off limits to big noise producing activities, especially during sensitive times (such as calving) 

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