Ship noise may affect whale communication

According to reports, scientists from James Cook University in Australia recently released a new study, pointing out that ships passing through the Great Barrier Reef may interfere with the communication ability of whales

last year, scientists used large underwater microphones to record the sound they could hear in a coral reef in the Australian coastal city of Townsville for three months. Professor Colin Simpfendorfer, who is responsible for analyzing the recordings, said the microphone recorded three main sounds, including background noise caused by weather changes, the sound of whales and other marine creatures, and the roar of ship engines. “The [low-frequency] noise made by ships is almost the same frequency as the sound used by whales to communicate with each other,” he said

however, Simpfendorfer also said that as the research is still in the preliminary stage, it is not clear how the engine sound will affect the whales, but the increase in the number of ships may cause concerns about related issues in the future. Because whales use low-frequency sound to communicate with their peers, the significant increase in noise may affect the ability of whales to communicate over long distances

Simpfendorfer said that at present, there is little research on how ship noise affects whales, and he hopes to have more findings to help scientists further study this problem

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