About

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Blog author Michael Stocker is the director of Ocean Conservation Research (OCR), a non-profit research and policy development organization focused on finding solutions to the growing threat of ocean noise pollution and its impact on marine habitat.

The ongoing work of OCR can be found here: www.OCR.org . The OCR website intention is to be informative, professional  and low on the hyperbole index.

The “Ocean Noise” blog is open for community participation with a broader latitude for the  interplay of speculation, gripes, hand-wringing  and finger-wagging.

Please have fun here while remembering that a really effective way of getting your point across includes leading with respect.

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3 comments for “About

  1. Isabella
    December 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Michael,

    It was really great to meet you the other day. I think it’s really amazing what you are doing here.

    Hope things are well with you….

  2. Falklands Conservation
    March 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

    There have been 43 long-fin pilot whale strandings since 1984 (beginning of data set) of long-finned pilot whales at the Falkland Islands and on average at least 1 stranding occurs every year. The average stranding consists of 100 individuals (Otley 2012).

    Therefore you could take any two years out of the data set and come to the same conclusion. There is no correlation with seismic activity and the total number of incidences of whale stranding at the Falklands, suggesting other factors are at play. We do not have enough information or understanding on marine noise pollution to make any significant conclusions – we would like to see more work conducted in this area, as it is a significant issue as marine environments become more encroached upon. However, your observations of relating two random stranding incidents with seismic surveys are neither significant or researched or indeed helpful.

    Otley, H. (2012) The composition of the cetacean community in the Falkland
    (Malvinas) Islands, southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Revista de Biología Marina y Oceanografía
    Vol. 47, Nº3: 537-551

    Best wishes

    • March 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Thanks for your follow-up comment on this. I was cautious on indicting seismic surveys as being at cause for the strandings – knowing that pilot whales seem to have a penchant for showing up on the shore in large groups. But the folks who brought these two events to my attention did some homework and it appeared as though a correlation could not be ruled out.

      We are also of the “precautionary school” inasmuch as while we don’t know the exact impacts of seismic surveys on specific animal populations, it would be hard to prove that seismic surveys were good, or even benign for these animals. Unfortunately the burden of proof is on those of us who are concerned about the impacts on the environment, not on those who are causing them. In light of this I feel that it is important to raise the question to the public even if causality is not proven. If we don’t do so there will be less pressure to find out about and characterize the impacts of this and other noisy practices.

      I feel pretty justified in this position particularly after the R.Roland et. al. paper from March 2012: “Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales” Proc. Royal Soc. B – proving fairly unequivocally that shipping noise is correlated to elevated stress levels in right whales.

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