Background noise affects sea mammals

A research is being carried out with regard to the influence of background noise on sea mammals. For this, two porpoises are used that have been beached some time ago on the Dutch coast and have remained since then in the dolphinarium.
According to flora and fauna legislation, the porpoise is a strictly protected species. Minister Verburg of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) has granted exemption for research, because it is in the interest of the species and other sea mammals.
Dolphins and whales regularly beach, sometimes in large numbers. These animals appear to be healthy, but nevertheless completely disoriented. There is possibly a connection between the beaching and artificially produces sound under water. Dolphins and whales depend for their orientation on sonar sounds which they produce themselves and the resonation of these sounds. The sonar of dolphins and whales can be disturbed by background noise, caused for example by shipping, drilling platforms, and seismic research. The sonar of marine ships may also play a role. This is why the ministry of Defence financed the research.
To receive clarity about the influence of under water sound on the orientation of sea mammals, Verburg gave permission for the research. The results will be used to take actions in order to preserve the species. The research will be held in accordance with the habitat guidelines.
The research will be led by marine biologist dr. Ron Kastelein and will not harm the animals.