Random Jottings

Noise and its impact on wildlife

There was an ineteresting report on BBC regards some sound monitoring that had been taking place.....

As UK divers most of us are aware that noise travels quite some distance underwater and I personally have had dives where I have inadvertently 'cowered' when I have heard props and that was when diving a wreck at sixty odd meters and on asking the skipper he reckoned that the vessel passed us maybe a mile away!


So I was quite intrigued to read the report and look at the 'red areas' as there is a big red 'splodge' over my local Farne Islands, but nothing over my old stomping grounds out from Weymouth where I really was spooked by prop noise, as an engineer I guess that this is emperical data so has accurately measured noise over a time period. I guess my reservations would be around the time of the measurement, we are told that it is from an 18 month period but if this includes two 'nesting' periods then this would raise the levels around the Islands as there are many, many more boats operating when the dicky birds are nesting.

It is also interesting that the whole project was looking at the impact of noise on wildlife, especially cuddlies like seals and dolphins, yet one of the problem areas, that of the North East has two huge seal colonies, that is the Islands and Seal Sands, we also get any amount of cetaceans moving up and down the coast chasing shoals of salmon heading home to spawn in the Tweed, Tyne and Wear.

So, in summary a very interesting article and piece of work but it spawns many questions which require review as there seems to be no correlation between noise and seal colonies, specifically if noise is a big factor regarding where seals set up home then why isn't Lundy home to as many seals and the Farnes? The acoustics would say that Lundy would be heavily populated but evidence says not, maybe as a factor the presence of food is significantly more important.

Dive safe


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