The Secret to a Sound Ocean

Acoustics mean different things to different species. As humans, we need sound to hear our favorite music, the roar of the crowd (insert activity here), and sirens so we don’t get flattened by a firetruck or freight train. While hearing is an enjoyable part of living a fulfilled life, we can get by without it. Whales on the other hand, have a harder time. Whales are auditory creatures, meaning hearing is essential to their communication, navigation, feeding, and breeding. Imagine if we couldn’t hear then we couldn’t breed? I’d rather go blind.

Whales depend on sound in every aspect of their lives: from using echolocation to orient themselves in the dark waters, to emitting mating calls during breeding season, or just having a whale chat. When container ships, oil tankers, and other large vessels travel through waters that are populated by whales, the ships produce noise that throws the whales into a state of disarray and messes with their activities and daily life. The sound is so strong, it would be as if you were at a party and someone blasted Whitesnake (whales dig Whitesnake) so loud you couldn’t even hear each other speak — let alone try and mate. Sound is important to the whales, and creating a beautiful sounding ocean will help them in all their future endeavors.

Click here or the infographic below for a full-sized view:

Oceans Iniative

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