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 V. R. Duin


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 are compromising marine life survival and human enjoyment with a severe noise pollution threat and harmful consequences.

Natural Ocean Sounds

Weaves of Green? Rolling tides and gentle waves are natural sounds. Unnatural sounds are loud, obvious and may cause direct physical damage. Water forced into the ocean from spillways and drainage pipes is an example.

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 and thumping sounds.

Behind the Music? Dolphins and whales chirp, squeak, click and whistle through blow holes. Fish breathing with the aid of spiracles can generate sucking noises. ReefQuest Centre answers: Do sharks make sounds?

Match Play? Sound is used compete for attention, define boundaries or show submission. Sound helps to navigate, find food and communicate. Sight and smell are not always useful. Touch may result in dangerous contact.

Basic Instinct? Whales make tail thumps, causing fish to herd 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. Noise and throwing things into the water are frowned upon while fishing. Mechanical sound-wave vibrations scare fish away from boats, shores and piers.

Effect of Unnatural Ocean Sounds

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

Glory Daze? Sound regulates behavior. Prey flees. Aggressive species attack. Stress from constant noise 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 are sending noise-making human 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 a downward direction, causing inescapable torment for life under the sea.

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? Noise reverberates from water to land and from land to water. It causes fish to flee. Robocalling and spoofing by telemarketers, political parties and hucksters lend a sense for this misery and distraction.

Class Project? “Yes” to noise pollution is a bad answer. To keep your voice from being used for unwanted purposes, blow bubbles with a straw or spew animal cries or machine cacophony. Cons may not risk another round.

Reverse Harmful Consequences

Another Conversation? Scientific and government laboratories are involved. NOAA mapped a strategy to reduce noise pollution over a 10-year period. Everyone should reduce their own recreational and industrial impacts.

Home Team? Government wants help. The NOAA Ocean Noise Strategy Road Map was launched with an opportunity for 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 Outreach.

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

Open Plan? Countries are involved. Canada has an Ocean Protection Plan. 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 the volume of entertainment devices and regularly maintaining vehicles and machines.