Turn it down: noise threshold for marine development

  • Marine development for energy generation is on the rise which means an increase in construction of seabed infrastructure and pile driving to anchor energy generating systems such as turbines.
  • Pile driving large hollow steel pipes into the sea floor creates loud booms underwater that rapidly change water pressure which can be harmful to marine life, causing irreversible damage. It was previously assumed that limiting combined sound during construction minimised the risk to fish, but new research has revealed that the sound level of individual blows is a key factor in the extent of damage to fish.
  • Injuries, including damage to the swim bladder and rapid changes to oxygen concentrations in fish blood, were more detrimental when the fish were exposed to one strike of 177 decibels (db) or more, than with multiple strikes at lower db levels.

This research has provided evidence to suggest that a decibel threshold should be adhered to in future when constructing seabed infrastructure and highlights the importance of targeted studies to guide meaningful regulation to ensure marine life is not harmed by increasing underwater development.

For more information, visit: http://tinyurl.com/78pdac3

About Hayley Shaw

Knowledge Exchange Manager at Cranfield University's Centre for Environmental Risks and Futures (CERF). Sharing the latest news from Cranfield, and insights from across the industry. All things risk, environment, and the future.
This entry was posted in Oceans, Marine Life and Fisheries and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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