Underwater noise has been increasing for decades and poses a serious threat on marine life. It disrupts orientation, foraging, communication, increases stress levels and has potential cumulative effects. However there is still not enough information to understand the full extent of the problem.
ACCOBAMS (Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area) has been working towards assessing and regulating underwater noise in the Mediterranean Sea. Morigenos has been a partner to ACCOBAMS for over a decade, and has actively contributed to the work of the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee.
Recent report ”Overview of the Noise Hotspots in the ACCOBAMS Area, Part I - Mediterranean Sea” has shown a wide spatial and temporal pattern of human activities that produce noise underwater. The resulting “noise hotspots” substantially overlap with important cetacean habitats and protected areas. The same is true for the Adriatic Sea, where significant source of noise comes from commercial vessels and in recent years also from seismic exploration for oil and gas. OceanCare, Morigenos’ close collaborator and partner, co-authored the report.
Underwater noise levels continue to increase, therefore it is necessary to continue the scientific investigation of noise levels and take necessary measures to reduce the problem.