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First UK-wide map of underwater noise made by ships has been created

BBC: “Researchers from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Suffolk used data captured from microphones placed on the seabed to identify “hotspots”. Dr Nathan Merchant, from Cefas, said he was “concerned” about potential effects on how marine mammals “communicate”. The shipping industry said it took its responsibilities to nature “seriously”. Over 18 months, microphones were placed around the UK and recorded audio for three months at each location. Ships’ propellers were the most widespread cause of underwater noise, the study found. The loudest areas were busy shipping lanes like the Strait of Dover, while routes to Felixstowe, the second busiest container port in Europe, were likened to a motorway. Cefas said it was the first time shipping noise had been mapped for the whole of the UK, and also the first time those maps had been corroborated with field measurements…”

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