Underwater noise harming fish

August 26, 2007

Man-made underwater noise threatens the health and reproductive capacity of many fish and marine mammals, an Italian researcher says.

In an interview with the news agency Ansa, Fabrizio Borsani of the marine research institute ICRAM in Rome said noise is deadly to some species. He said fish with inflatable bladders like cod can even explode.

Borsani recently attended the first international conference on marine noise held in Nyborg, Denmark. He said an increase in shipping and coastal construction, off-shore wind farms and oil drilling are responsible for increased underwater noise.

The increase is even affecting fish farmers. He said farmed salmon in Canada and the United States are smaller if they are closer to sources of noise.

In the Mediterranean, some whales are not reproducing because they do not hear mating calls, he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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