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World - Scientists Listening To Ocean Soundscapes Quieted By COVID-19 Note Behavioural Changes In Marine Life

To monitor and understand the behaviour changes in marine life during this quiet phase, a community of scientists have decided to use over 200 non-military hydrophones to listen to sounds made by animals to navigate and communicate across the ocean.

These findings can be instrumental in driving policy change to protect the oceans and the marine life it holds.

Back in 2011, experts started working on the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE), which was unveiled in 2015 along with the International Quiet Ocean Experiment Science Plan. The targets of these projects were to develop a time series of measurements of ambient sound in oceans spread around the world to understand several sound properties at different frequencies.

Now the IQOE, the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), have come together and decided to observe the oceans soundscapes quieted by COVID-19 as several human activities like shipping, tourism and recreation, fishing and aquaculture, energy exploration and extraction, naval and coast guard exercises, offshore construction, and port and channel dredging came to a halt.

The data found through this initiative will become a part of the 2020 quiet ocean assessment and will support inspections of the ocean landscape well into the future. The scientists aim to increase the existing 200 to a total of 500 hydrophones that will record the signals of whales as well as other marine life and the noise levels produced by human activities.

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