This particular recording is taken from the 100 meter hydrophone array that is towed behind the RV Odyssey. A series of underwater microphones, more properly called hydrophones, are used to help the crew find their principle study species, the sperm whale. In this particular recording you can hear the propellers of a passing cargo ship almost 5 miles away passing the Odyssey in the Gulf of Mexico.
Whales face more threats now than ever before, commercial whaling, pollution, ship strikes and the growing threat of acoustic pollution.Although we can’t ‘see’ it, noise pollution produced by man-made devises such as boats, sonar, seismic air guns and other industrial underwater activities, is a concern for auditory animals like whales and dolphins because certain frequencies have been shown to interfere with their communications and even cause death.
We need to know more about how our noisy activities in the ocean affect the marine mammals that call it home. That’s why the Operation Toxic Gulf crew are currently in the Gulf of Mexico collecting recordings from their surroundings to better understand this underwater world and protect the marine life within it.
-Eliza Muirhead, Sea Shepherd Australia[sws_divider_small_padding]