Four people on a boat in the ocean raise a noisy ruckus in Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up displayed at 50% of viewport width.
April 2019 by Terry Verduin


Right-side up, then upside down,
Little Ray loved to act the clown.
The young stingray showed off for friends,
who cheered his leaps and flips and bends.
(Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up)

The effects of unnatural ocean sounds on natural ocean sounds compromise marine life survival and human enjoyment with harmful consequences from severe noise pollution threats.

Natural Ocean Sounds

Weaves of Green? Rolling tides and gentle waves are natural sounds. Unnatural sounds are loud, obvious and may cause physical damage. Water blasts exiting spillways and drains are noisy, life-threatening examples.

Fish “Voices”? Swim bladders and expelled water or air make barks, bubbles, burps, gnashes, groans, grunts, hisses, hoots, moans and rattles. Tail, fin and body movements produce splashing or thumping sounds.

Behind the Music? Dolphins and whales chirp, squeak, click and whistle through blow holes. Fish using similar respiratory openings may generate sucking noises. ReefQuest Centre answers: Do sharks make sounds?

Match Play? Animals compete for attention, define boundaries or show submission with sound. It helps them navigate, find food and communicate. Adverse conditions impair sight and smell. Touch risks dangerous contact.

Basic Instinct? Whales make tail thumps, causing fish to group for safety, The mass confuses some predators. Whales can swallow the school. Thumps mark territory. Team tail thumping drives prey for easy dining.

Icebreaker Sounds? Naturally occurring sound aids in spawning, sheltering, mating, growth, development, feeding and other necessary marine life activities. It reduces stress damage to blood vessels and nervous systems.

Peace and Quiet? Yelling and screaming rarely are appropriate. Anglers frown upon noise and things thrown into the water while fishing. Mechanical sound-wave vibrations scare fish away from boats, shores and piers.

Unnatural Ocean Sounds

Sound Stage? Bone-rattling rackets can be deadly. Territorial, aggressive and slow animals may not be willing or able to get out of the way of noisy human machines. As boat traffic increases, more animals get killed or maimed.

Glory Daze? Sound regulates behavior. Prey flees. Aggressive species attack. Constant noise distresses and places animals at risk of predation and disease. It also impacts human safety and enjoyment of the waters.

Manifest Destiny? No place is spared. Ice melts and climate change now send noise-making machine activities into the Arctic and Antarctic. With less ice blanketing the ocean, the dampening effect of this layer is reduced.

To the max? Sound is a mechanical disturbance. As it travels in waves, loudness depends on distance, strength and duration. Sound intensifies in deep water, causing inescapable torment for life under the sea.

Wave strength? Learn scientific details in How does sound travel in shallow water? from DOSIT. The article also discusses reverberations in the deep. Sound can travel long distances without hitting sea surfaces or bottoms.

Rustic Retreat? Loud noise interferes with rest and impairs hearing. Metabolic disruptions, developmental delay and physical deformities may worsen after the ruckus stops. Although, Fish Never Sleep, they need rest.

Severe Noise Pollution Threat

Major League? Thundering commotion causes chronic stress. Severe, common, load noise sources include music, engines, depth sounding devices, sonar blasts, oil drilling booms, construction explosives and survey air guns.

Show Stopper? Noise has immune system effects. Julia Purser, UK biologist, has authored and co-authored articles about injury, death and other harmful effects of persistent noise on marine life survival and peace.

Apparatus? Sensing and robotic technologies expand development. Ocean Care and Dalhousie University cite The Impact of Ocean Noise Pollution on Fish and Invertebrates from Dr. Lindy Weilgart's review of scientific studies.

Sound Amplification? Hostile noise reverberates from water-to-land and from land-to-water. Robocalling and spoofing by telemarketers, political parties and hucksters lend a sense for the misery and distraction.

Class Project? “Yes” to noise pollution is a bad answer. To stop illicit voice hijacking crimes, activists can blow bubbles with straws, spew animal cries or raise machine cacophony. Cons are unlikely to risk another round.

Reverse Harmful Consequences

Another Conversation? Scientific and government laboratories are pushing everyone to reduce recreational and industrial impacts on the environment. NOAA mapped a strategy to reduce noise pollution over a 10-year period.

Home Team? Government wants help. The NOAA Ocean Noise Strategy Road Map was launched with an opportunity for public comment and feedback. Its collaborative guideline benefits visitors and ocean life.

Grass Roots? Phase 2 is the NOAA plan for ocean sound management, planning, regulation and assessment. Public education programs, workshops and tasks forces come with this NOAA Outreach.

Craft Work? Efforts to limit decibels also extend to land and freshwater. The International Maritime Organization is quieting commercial vessels. Sanctuaries are being set aside for marine-life studies.

Open Plan? Countries take part. Canada has the Ocean Protection Plan. The UN has an Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and Law of the Sea. Its 19th meeting, Anthropogenic Ocean Noise, was international.

Bold Leader? Everyone can do their part to reduce noise pollution by turning off equipment when not in use, lowering entertainment device volumes and regularly maintaining vehicles and mechanical tools.