The noise of the ocean has changed: BIOcean5D coverage in Innovando News

Credit: Kogia | Karim Iliya

The changing marine soundscape puts hundreds of species at risk: BIOcean5D’s Lucia Di Iorio featured in innovation magazine, Innovando

From whales to small invertebrates, many ocean dwellers depend on the clarity of the marine soundscape to interact with and interpret their surroundings. 

But the sound of the Anthropocene ocean is very different from that of the pre-industrial age. The gradual disappearance of many ‘noisy’ marine animals has caused a dramatic drop in animal noise (or ‘biophony’), while human-induced noise has doubled each decade since the 1960s. These anthropogenic noises are now predominant, and have a heavy impact on sea life.

Marine soundscapes are at the centre of research conducted by BIOcean5D’s Lucia Di Iorio, Principal Investigator in Soundscape Oceanography & Ecoacoustics at the University of Perpignan. Through BIOcean5D and EMBL’s TREC expedition, Lucia is recording underwater sounds along the European coasts to better understand the impact of human-induced noise on marine biodiversity. 

“Shipping traffic compromises the communication of animals,” Lucia explained in an interview with Euronews. “It’s as if you lived next to a highway, or a busy road, with cars constantly passing by.” 

Lucia is investigating the influence of underwater sounds on phytoplankton. While it was previously only thought that noise pollution affects whales and dolphins, recent research has confirmed that many organisms, including jellyfish, crustaceans and coral reefs, all suffer from human-induced marine noise.

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