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Effects of underwater noise on grey seals and fish

Project data

Project leader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr Ursula Siebert
Scientific work: Dr. Andreas Ruser
Tobias Schaffeld
Johannes Baltzer
Dr. Joseph Schnitzler
Kirstin Anderson Hansen, Ph.D.
Cooperation partners: Marine Biological Research Center, Odense, DK
National Marine Mammal Foundation, San Diego,USA
Project term: April 2019 - December 2021
Sponsorship: Federal Nature Conservation Agency (BfN), (FKZ 3519532206)

Project description

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), becoming effective in 2008, aims to achieve and preserve a transnational Europe-wide good environmental status of the oceans.

The marine utilisation by humans needs to be configured sustainably without endangering the natural basis of life for marine flora and fauna. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive descriptors shall assist with the assessment of the European marine status.

Criteria and methodical standards for the description of a good environmental status were defined within those, which require an implementation within a standardised monitoring as well as research projects in Germany. This projects aims to accomplish contributions to the environmental objectives „derivation and application of biological limits for the effect of underwater noise on relevant species“ and „development and application of noise mitigation measures for the North and Baltic Seas“ with cooperation partners in several work packages.

The work packages intended for this project close knowledge gaps for grey seals and fish, enabling the determination of biological limits for the effect of underwater noise on those animal groups.

  • Determination of underwater auditory thresholds of two grey seals kept in human care for the derivation of the limit for effect of underwater noise. In order to assess the grey seals´ underwater auditory ability, a standardised experimental assembly and procedure is ensured.
  • Two available North Sea fish species will be divided into three test groups in this work package. One control group will not be treated with acoustic noise, one exposition group will be exposed to loud acoustic noise for a short time period and another one will be exposed to the same acoustic energy, but with a lower sound pressure level over a longer time period. The knowledge gained from this study can be used for the determination of limits, from which fish may be disturbed in their behaviour. Thereby, the results can be distinguished by acoustic energy over a short time period or a cumulative acoustic immission over a longer time period.
  • Assessment of effects of underwater sound emitting anthropogenic activities on harbour porpoises, seals and fish. Development of recommendation for noise abatement measures for ships and other anthropogenic noise sources based on the work package results from grey seals and fish as well as contemporary scientific publications about the impact of anthropogenic sound immissions.

Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum

 

Dr. Andreas Ruser

 

Tel.: +49 511 856-8156
Fax.: +49 511 856-8181

E-Mail schreiben

Anschrift
Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Kontakt
Tel.:+49 511 856-8156
Fax.:+49 511 856-8181
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