A new method for discovering the extremes of noise pollution has been put to the test. In a new level of research for marine life, seals are being used to calculate the levels of noise pollution in surrounding seawater. Scientists have also placed specially adapted headphones on the animals to test the soundwaves.
Biologists and researches were concerned regarding the acoustic emissions from wind turbines in the North and Baltic sea, in particular. Professor Ursula Siebert, who claims an increase in noise pollution from the seas through shipping, construction work and sound cannons whilst on the search for oil explained “In order to assess the effects of underwater noise on animals, scientists need accurate data on their hearing. Seals are important because they are some of the most common marine mammals in the North and Baltic Seas” she adds.
However, some animal rights groups and activists will find this hard to endorse, researchers believe this method is effective to plant a better future of ocean life.
The last study of seals was some forty years ago with sensitivity recorded at roughly 4kHz. Five males and one female seal were used in the test study, conducted in Germany and Poland’s rehabilitation centres. They were either in bad health or abandoned. The marine mammals were also sedated to help with the ease of research in conjunction with their movements. The seals are trained to give a signal when they hear a sound relayed into the water via hydrophones. A second study is likely to be rolled out to the University of Southern Denmark.
While this may be a new way to gather research is it acceptable to conduct such practice with the funky gadgets? We would give this the thumbs up, for now. With minimal subjects used and in such careful manner it would seem little harm has been caused and can help research move forward extensively. Though we do not wish to see every mammal in the ocean abused for the sake of a research race by academics, done in a careful and throughout process is an achievable success.
Maybe the real question is why have we failed to adapt to and encourage research over such a long timeframe? Join in and let us know your views below. It seems that some of the most intelligent species in the water are the best way forward to seek successful information. Maybe humans are becoming continually obsolete within forty years. Scary thought.
Maybe musician Seal can do a duet at some point.