Science

Effects Of Human Activities On Marine Mammals

By Rodney Rafols , Oct 08, 2016 02:42 AM EDT
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In recent years there has been much threat to marine animals. While we progress, our environment is affected by it as well. Pollution and the damage to the environment are some of its results. Other factors being studied is noise and watercraft on our oceans.

According to Science Daily the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has come out with a report that studies the effects that our activities have on marine mammals. The report stresses that it is not clear yet which factors or a combination of factors cause immediate concern.

Sound is one factor that the study highlights in its report. As human activity increase as ships and watercraft ply the seas, noise is one concern that the report notes. It is an effect most people don't notice when dealing with pollution, yet noise pollution can be a concern for marine wildlife.

The report on the whole though notes that it isn't easy to assess the various factors that affect marine mammals. Testing the various interactions among multiple stressors isn't easy. The report did recommend having a real-time, centralized way of reporting data from different populations of marine mammals.

"Current scientific theory and data for individual marine mammals or their population is not enough to predict the total risk from a combination of threats," Peter L. Tyack, Marine Mammal Biology Professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the committee chair for the report said.

Some of the stressors cannot be reduced at once, as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine site notes. These stressors include chemical pollutants and climate change. It will take many years to reduce these. However other factors such as noise and shipping routes can be more easily managed and reduced.

The combination of these stress factors could be used in studying what ways could be to detect early warning signs for affected populations. The report also recommends having surveillance systems to monitor changing levels in population or its reproductive rate.

An earlier report also notes that deep sea creatures have been found to eat microplastics.

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