Man-made noise

Research Area: Man-made noise and impact on the marine environment

Small fish are three times more vulnerable to predators when there are high levels of noise in the marine environment, which often leads to parent fish losing or abandoning their larvae, impacting on whole populations. Noisy conditions can also disrupt feeding patterns for crabs and make them less effective at defending themselves when threatened.

Some of the main sources of human-made noise in oceans and coral reefs are pile driving (driving metal tubes into the seabed to build off-shore wind farms), ship engine noise and air guns used to find offshore fossil fuels.

By sharing this research with UK government agencies such as Defra and Cefas, and the International Maritime Organization responsible for shipping regulations, Dr Simpson is helping reduce the level of noise around marine ecosystems. His findings are also helping officials make decisions about the location of shipping lanes, and where and when to build new wind farms.

Contact Name: 
Steve Simpson