Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Potential impacts of shipping noise on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and implications for regulation and mitigation: a review

ntegr Zool. 2018 Jan 9. doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12304. [Epub ahead of print] Li S1, Liu M1,2, Dong L1, Dong J1,2, Wang D3. Author information 1 Sanya Key Laboratory of Marine Mammal and Marine Bioacoustics, Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya, 572000, China. 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. 3 Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430072, China. Abstract Shipping noise is a widespread and relatively loud sound source among human-induced underwater sounds. The impacts of shipping noise are of special concern for Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis), as they inhabit shallow and nearshore habitats and are highly dependent on sound for survival. This study synthesizes our current understanding of the potential impacts of shipping noise on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins combined with knowledge on sound production and hearing of these animals and the impacts of noise on other whales and dolphins. For further protection and management of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and their habitats, shipping noise should be regulated and mitigated to modify sound from ships, to reduce overall noise levels, and to set more marine protected areas (MPAs) covering most Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin habitats with seasonal and geographical restrictions to avoid ensonification of shipping noise. The emphasis for future research should be on obtaining more baseline information about the population distribution, sound production, hearing capabilities at the population level, behavior, and stress hormones of the humpback dolphins under different noise conditions or under different noise-producing activities, and/or in high-noise areas compared with relatively quiet areas, and the noise characteristics of ships of different types, sizes, and speeds. KEYWORDS: Noise impacts; echolocation; hearing; protection; sound production PMID: 29316222 DOI: 10.1111/1749-4877.12304