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The Soundscape of the Anthropocene Ocean

Duarte, C.M., L. Chapuis, S.P. Collin, D.P. Costa, R.P. Devassy, V.M. Eguiluz, C. Erbe, T.A.C. Gordon, B.S. Halpern, H.R. Harding, M.N. Havlik, M. Meekan, N.D. Merchant, J.L. Miksis-Olds, M. Parsons, M. Predragovic, A.N. Radford, C.A. Radford, S.D. Simpson, H. Slabbekoorn, E. Staaterman, I.C. Van Opzeeland, J. Winderen, X. Zhang, and F. Juanes (February 2021)

Science 371(6529):eaba4658. DOI: 10.1126/science.aba4658


Oceans have become substantially noisier since the Industrial Revolution. Shipping, resource exploration, and infrastructure development have increased the anthrophony (sounds generated by human activities), whereas the biophony (sounds of biological origin) has been reduced by hunting, fishing, and habitat degradation. Climate change is affecting geophony (abiotic, natural sounds). Existing evidence shows that anthrophony affects marine animals at multiple levels, including their behavior, physiology, and, in extreme cases, survival. This should prompt management actions to deploy existing solutions to reduce noise levels in the ocean, thereby allowing marine animals to reestablish their use of ocean sound as a central ecological trait in a healthy ocean.


Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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