Shipping noise in a dynamic sea : a case study of grey seals in the Celtic Sea
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Shipping noise is a threat to marine wildlife. Grey seals are benthic foragers, and thus experience acoustic noise throughout the water column, which makes them a good model species for a case study of the potential impacts of shipping noise. We used ship track data from the Celtic Sea, seal track data and a coupled ocean-acoustic modelling system to assess the noise exposure of grey seals along their tracks. It was found that the animals experience step changes in sound levels up to ~ 20 dB at a frequency of 125 Hz, and ~ 10 dB on average over 10–1000 Hz when they dive through the thermocline, particularly during summer. Our results showed large seasonal differences in the noise level experienced by the seals. These results reveal the actual noise exposure by the animals and could help in marine spatial planning.
Chen , F , Shapiro , G I , Bennett , K A , Ingram , S N , Thompson , D , Vincent , C , Russell , D J F & Embling , C B 2017 , ' Shipping noise in a dynamic sea : a case study of grey seals in the Celtic Sea ' Marine Pollution Bulletin , vol 114 , no. 1 , pp. 372-383 . DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.054
Marine Pollution Bulletin
© 2016, Published by Elsevier. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at www.sciencedirect.com / https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.054
This study was supported by the EU (via PERSEUS grant FP7-OCEAN-2011-287600 and MyOcean SPA.2011.1.5-01 grant 283367). In addition, C.B. Embling was supported by the 2014 SoMSE Plymouth University Small (grant number 2014-SoMSE) research grant. D.J.F. Russell and D. Thompson were supported by the National Capability funding from the Natural Environment Research Council to the Sea Mammal Research Unit (grant no. SMRU1001). C. Vincent was supported by the Parc naturel marin d'Iroise and Région Poitou – Charentes (grant number 782423).
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