Analyzing the Role of Vessel-Based Tourism on Masking on Antarctic Humpback Whales: A Petition for Management Solutions for Underwater Noise and Regulation of Antarctic Tourism
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Ocean physics has been capitalized by marine life who have evolved the use of sound sensory modality for interacting with their environment. Marine animals use sound to forage, reproduce, communicate, navigate, and avoid predators. Anthropogenic vessel noise has become a ubiquitous pollutant throughout the world’s oceans, causing an elevation in acoustic energy and creating noise characteristically different than natural sound sources. Increasing interest in Antarctic tourism has intensified vessel activity in and around the Antarctic Peninsula, a critically vulnerable habitat for many polar keystone species. Chronic emission from vessels emit sound frequencies that overlap with frequency bands of vocalizing animals, leading to potential masking of vital acoustic cues and loss of communication space. The major objectives of this study are to acoustically analyze the signal to noise ratio for the Western Antarctic Peninsula to help characterize the acoustic soundscape in order to integrate metrics into ecosystem-based management plans and protected area proposals.
CitationAtkins-Davis, Claire (2019). Analyzing the Role of Vessel-Based Tourism on Masking on Antarctic Humpback Whales: A Petition for Management Solutions for Underwater Noise and Regulation of Antarctic Tourism. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18425.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment