Once the only sounds below the ocean’s surface were from nature itself. Now people and machines are polluting this world with life-threatening noise from boat engines, sonar, seismic exploration,military activity, drilling, mining, undersea installations, cables and more.
Sound travels via molecules that vibrate and move against each other. Water is way denser than air, meaning molecules in water are more compacted and that these sound vibrations travel both faster and further. Generally, sound travels 4.5 times faster and 60 times further in water than in air.
Noise pollution is getting in the way of animals’ communication and navigation. The problem is so pervasive that the number one cause of death for whales has become collision with ships. And researchers are beginning to see links between seismic activity, for example in relation to oil drilling, and the mass death and stranding of whales and even giant squid.
Even fish can be driven away from important areas due to noise pollution. Who knows what other unknown impact we’re having?
Oil drilling, over fishing, acidification, plastic pollution and noise pollution. The ocean faces many and serious challenges.
With a hybrid-electric engine that can run up to 10 hours on only electricity and charge overnight, we eliminate the sound vibrations caused by a conventional engine. And there’s less pollution from fossil fuels.
With a silent cruise we also have the opportunity to listen to the ocean using a hydrophone, an underwater microphone. On our Silent Whale Watching cruise we can use this to capture whales communicating. What else do you think we can hear?
In Norway only 3,1% of the ocean is protected compared to 17,4% of land areas 3 . Perhaps it’s time to consider treating the ocean like we treat the land, or better?
Sources Aftenposten Innsikt, «Strandet av støy», Dec 2018