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Noise pollution threatening marine life

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(Read caption) Humpback whales off the coast of the Dominican Republic. A new study found that noise pollution is intensifying threats to marine mammals who rely on sound.

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Ship engines, seismic air guns, and advanced military sonars are making the world's seas and oceans so noisy that they threaten the lives of marine animals that rely on sound, wildlife experts told a United Nations panel Wednesday.

The experts, who are attending the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Migratory Species conference in Rome this week, are urging governments and businesses to turn down the volume on the high seas.

According to Mark Simmonds, the Science Director of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, human-caused underwater noise "is already triggering a kind of acoustic fog and a cacophony of sound in many parts of the world seas and oceans."

Simmonds's organization published a report on underwater noise pollution [PDF] in 2004.

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