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Dolphins at risk

Bottlenose dolphins that reside in designated Special Areas of Conservation throughout the UK, including Dorset, Anglesey and Cornwall, might be at risk from pile driving. The frequency range of pile driving noise could interfere with their ability to communicate, find food and avoid predators. This has the potential to affect their behaviour, health and their ability to breed successfully. Lactating females and young calves might be particularly vulnerable

Recently more than 600 dolphins died mysteriously off the Indian Ocean archipelago in Zanzibar. The phenomenon has created a stir among marine experts, with varying theories that the Indian Ocean Bottlenose dolphins may have been hurt by pollution or underwater noise.

Author, Dr. Jonathan David, MCIWEM, suggests that mitigation measures be put in place to help prevent any adverse impacts upon dolphin populations. Operations should be restricted to low tide and suspended during calving season, an exclusion zone should be monitored before any activity starts and marine work should cease if a dolphin enters the work area. Other innovative ideas include creating an air bubble curtain and creating a ramped warning signal to give dolphins time to leave the area before work commences.

Dr David also calls for further research into the reactions of marine mammals to industrial noise to help mitigate future effects in relation to the increase in off-shore industry, such as the construction of wind farms.

Other wide ranging topics covered in the new edition of the Water and Environment Journal include the Water Framework Directive, the Gaza Strip, environmental sustainability and oil spills in Egyptian waters.

The Water and Environment Journal is The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management's main peer-reviewed publication and can trace its origins back to the 1890's. And with a new Editor-in Chief, Professor David Butler, and a new partnership with Blackwell P
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Source:Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


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