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Whales 'cannot outsing' human noise pollution

4 Comments
By Rochelle GLUZMAN

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A 'wildlife first' ban will damage trade routes, particularly food supplies, increasing costs and prices, increasing poverty and leading to an increase in the number of people dying of poverty and hunger. What seems like a good idea that inconveniences a few people in the first world, hammers the developing world, where the impacts are amplified. There are ways to mitigate engine noise, but demanding that we revert to a pre-industrial lifestyle is not a solution. Oh, and interfering with whale communication is not as bad as slaughtering them, which Japan still does. So as a first step to helping whales, how about stopping that. Then work on muffling engine noise.

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Scientists need to prioritise the fight against seabed mining. It will create an underwater PMM 2.4 style menace, disturbing centuries of pathogens and toxic material. It will decimate filter feeders.

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Interfering with whale communication is as bad as slaughtering them. Among the messages whales send to others are for mating, danger signals, and calling calves. Just so that people can get bananas from South America on the cheap seems like a poor reason to leave whales speechless.

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Ships can be silenced. The technology to accomplish this has been around since the 1970s on combat ships, where silence is essential to avoid being hit by submarine torpedoes. Read up one two systems, one called Prairie and another called Masker. When employed a ship sounds like a rain shower on the ocean surface. In addition, machinery can be "rafted", placed on support frames that are isolated from the hull with elastic-hydraulic mounts and by using active sound cancellation (think a Bose headset on a grand scale). All of these are in service today in various navies.

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