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Underwater noise in the Arctic - A state of knowledge report

A review of the current state of knowledge as a baseline for our understanding of underwater noise in the Arctic Ocean,including ambient sound levels, underwater noise created by anthropogenic activities, and impacts of underwater noise on marine life, including marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates.

Assessing vessel slowdown as an option for reducing acoustic masking for Arctic cod in the western Canadian Arctic

Underwater sound generated from vessel traffic can negatively effect wildlife by making it difficult for them to hear biologically-important sounds. Where it isn't possible to reroute traffic, slowing down vessel travel speed may mitigate the impacts of sound. The researchers investigated how a speed reduction from 25 to 15 knots effecting the listening ability of fish. They determined that the most important factors when mitigating sound pollution was the type of vessel, and distance of the vessel from the animals, rather than speed.

Seasonal patterns in marine mammal vocalizations in the western Canadian Arctic

WCS researchers and colleagues used acoustic monitoring to monitor marine mammal populations at two sites in the Arctic: Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada. Their research revealed the presence of beluga and bowhead whales during the ice-free season, bearded seals through the ice-covered and mating seasons, and ringed seals year round. The presence of these species, and differences in the timing of species presence between the two sites, serve as baseline data for future monitoring in the region.

Acoustic detections of Arctic marine mammals near Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada

Using passive acoustic monitoring, the authors surveyed for the presence of arctic marine mammals near Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories. Their surveys determined the presence of bowhead and beluga whales and bearded and ringed seals at various times throughout the year. These results begin to establish patterns of vocalizations for these species in the area, and can serve as baseline data to compare future monitoring to.

Arctic Biodiversity Assessment

This report, commissioned by the Arctic Council to inform negotiations, is a compilation of works from 252 scientists and numerous holders of traditional knowledge. The Arctic Biodiversity Assessment addresses the status and trends in populations of Arctic flora and fauna, and the report focuses on the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic in relation to climate change, expansion of industry, animal relocations, and pollution. WCS Canada's Dr. Don Reid is a lead author of the Mammals chapter which details what is known regarding substantial changes in distribution and abundance of Arctic mammals over the past 50 years, which has been more intense in marine than terrestrial species.
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