How Increased Boat Traffic and Seismic Surveying Affects Marine Animals Who Rely On Sound

In a fascinating collaborative video from Vox and podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz, video producer Christophe Habursin explains how noise from increased boat traffic and explosive seismic surveying is affecting life underwater, particularly those marine animals (i.e. whales, dolphins) who rely upon sound as their primary sense.

We often think of the ocean as a quiet, peaceful place, filled with animals that don’t make much noise. So when I went diving in the ocean for the first time, I was surprised at how rich the soundscape around me was: you could hear fish nibbling on coral and squid swimming past you. But more than anything, you could almost always hear the hum of a boat engine. It’s part of a big problem in the ocean right now. Ship traffic noise has doubled every decade since the 1960s — and it’s wreaking havoc on marine life.