Imagine having dynamite go off in your neighborhood every ten seconds for days, weeks, or months on end.
This is what the ocean sounds like to dolphins and whales when humans conduct seismic testing for oil. The loud noises drown everything out, including the animals’ own voices, and could injure or even kill animals too close to the airgun blasts. Some dolphins and whales may even beach themselves to escape the noise.
Seismic testing is performed by shooting compressed air into the water. It’s one of the loudest underwater noises humans can make, and the sound travels thousands of miles.
The Department of the Interior is currently proposing seismic testing for the Middle and South Atlantic. Tens of thousands of whales and dolphins will be at risk, and habitats exposed to the sound include the only known calving ground for endangered right whales. There are only about 400 right whales left in the wild—disrupting the lives of mothers and babies could push them closer to extinction.
Turning up the volume could be deadly for whales. Sign today to protect Atlantic animals from noisy seismic testing»
The fact is, dolphins and whales just can’t live their lives while surrounded by such loud noise. Whales use their voices to find mates. Dolphin mothers communicate with their babies with clicks and whistles. These sounds will be silenced by the airguns. If they can’t talk to one another, these social animals are lost—and if they get too close to the airguns, they may not survive at all.