Cetaceans face an increasing array of threats from man's continued plunder of the oceans
Cetaceans under siege as man-made perils blight the oceans
29th December, 2011
Whales, dolphins and porpoises have no respite from oil and chemicals, fishing nets, shipping, noise pollution and a host of other dangers brought about by man's unrelenting destruction of the oceans, says Anthony Wall
Noise. A curse – the curse, some would say- of modern life. Noise, day and night. In cities, where more than half of us now live, decibel levels are soaring. Intrusive noise robs us of vital sleep and, say researchers, contributes to all manner of ailments and afflictions. The World Health Organisation pinpoints: stress, insomnia, tinnitus and hearing loss, high blood pressure, aggression, inability to concentrate, tendency to heart attacks.
It has even been suggested that our unquiet lifestyle is driving us mad. Human beings are just not equipped, physically or psychologically, to cope with this rising racket.
It’s self-inflicted torture. But what of the other creatures who share our planet and whose habitat we habitually invade and despoil? They too can be driven to distraction by the pervasive man-made din.
Nowhere is this truer than in the seas around us. Once, the loudest sound to permeate these waters was the lowing of the mighty blue whale. But today… Drilling, blasting and seismic surveys for offshore oil and gas; powerful sonic booms from Naval vessels; the constant thrum of maritime traffic. All these bring distress, sometimes death, to whales (and their dolphin and porpoise...
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