What are the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine animals?
How does anthropogenic (human-generated) sound affect marine animals? The ocean is full of both natural and anthropogenic sources of sound (see What are common underwater sounds?). Much attention has recently been focused on anthropogenic sources of sound in the oceans and their potentially harmful effects on marine animals. This has become a topic of increasing controversy, especially regarding marine mammals. Marine mammals face threats from many different human activities, including fishing, habitat destruction, ship strikes, whaling, and sound production. Of these threats, fisheries bycatch kills the most marine mammals. Globally, it is estimated that more than 650,000 marine mammals are killed annually by being accidentally caught in fishing nets (Read et al., 2006). Although there have only been a small number of deaths of marine mammals associated with underwater sound, sound is included here as a threat because we know that it can affect marine mammals in a number of ways. Rese