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Effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals -- a research strategy
Date:9/30/2008

fects of sound in the oceans are not clearly understood." says Marine Board Chair Lars Horn.

In its global assessment of cetacean species, released in august 2008, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) concluded that ocean noise posed a significant threat. These concerns have reached the larger public through exposure in popular press and media.

In spite of growing attention, defining and implementing measures to reduce the impacts of man-made sound on marine mammals remain seriously hindered by a lack of knowledge.

"There is a need to rapidly improve the state of knowledge by new research focussed on specific questions of high priority. This requires concerted, coordinated action across many expert groups within the scientific community" says Expert Group Chair Ian Boyd.

A key message of the Marine Board Position Paper is that a risk assessment framework needs to be used to define where the research effort can be applied with greatest effect.

The Position Paper concludes that to construct a full risk assessment, it is necessary to be able to make all the linkages between issues from sound production, through behaviour change, effects on life function and the effects on populations. In particular, there is a need to improve knowledge of how effects on life function influence vital rates.

The analysis presented in the Position Paper is a first step towards defining a full research strategy and will need further review and modification as additional intellectual attention is applied to this field.


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Contact: Jan-Bart Calewaert
jbcalewaert@esf.org
32-059-340-170
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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