Widely used marine seismic survey air gun operations negatively impact zooplankton

Journal Article

Title: Widely used marine seismic survey air gun operations negatively impact zooplankton
Publication Date:
June 22, 2017
Journal: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Volume: 1
Pages: 8
Publisher: Nature
Stressor:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

McCauley, R.; Day, R.; Swadling, K.; Fitzgibbon, Q.; Watson, R.; Semmens, J. (2017). Widely used marine seismic survey air gun operations negatively impact zooplankton. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 8.
Abstract: 

Zooplankton underpin the health and productivity of global marine ecosystems. Here we present evidence that suggests seismic surveys cause significant mortality to zooplankton populations. Seismic surveys are used extensively to explore for petroleum resources using intense, low-frequency, acoustic impulse signals. Experimental air gun signal exposure decreased zooplankton abundance when compared with controls, as measured by sonar (~3–4 dB drop within 15–30 min) and net tows (median 64% decrease within 1 h), and caused a two- to threefold increase in dead adult and larval zooplankton. Impacts were observed out to the maximum 1.2 km range sampled, which was more than two orders of magnitude greater than the previously assumed impact range of 10 m. Although no adult krill were present, all larval krill were killed after air gun passage. There is a significant and unacknowledged potential for ocean ecosystem function and productivity to be negatively impacted by present seismic technology.

Find Tethys on InstagramFind Tethys on FacebookFind Tethys on Twitter
 
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.