[Coral-List] Air Guns on Social Media

Robert Bourke rbourke at OCEANIT.COM
Thu Apr 30 15:37:59 EDT 2015

	There has been LOTs of work done relating to the possible impact of sound energy to marine mammals and fish - but curiously little done on marine turtles.  This branch of science, like most other branches, has its own curious set of terminology and mathematical analyses which will baffle the ordinary biologist who doesn't do their homework.  Most recently, the Federal Register just released a pronouncement from NOAA regarding the "take" of marine mammals calculated to occur when the Navy replaces four (4!) piles at one of their piers in Puget Sound CFR April 22, 2015 pp 22477 - 22501.  The references provided in this article provide a good starting point for anyone interested in understanding the impacts of underwater sound upon living marine resources.


Bob Bourke

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Eugene Shinn
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 8:18 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Air Guns on Social Media

The request for marine scientists to participate in a social media campaign to stop seismic surveys was certainly an attention getter. One must wonder if this is a proper use of social media? Readers are certainly aware that Social Media has been effective for creating flash mobs and riots (Baltimore riots?). One may wonder if responsible scientists will loose credibility by becoming involved in this kind of activity? I admit to being biased because about 40 years ago I filmed a seismic air gun firing from about 12 ft. away.As a mammal I am not aware that I suffered any harm, however, some readers will surely say that’s what is wrong with me.Of course any plankton, fish larvae, or clam larvae in close vicinity (say a few meters) are bound to be affected just as they would from outboard motor propellers or those giant propellers pushing cruise ships or closer to home; scientific research vessels? Where is the hard data that whales and turtles are harmed when they are thousands of feet away from the event? Have there been any controlled experiments? As a marine scientist I would hesitate to sign any activist letters purporting to represent reliable data. There is nothing new here. This anti exploration campaign has been going on ever since the industry switched from explosives to airguns. Are the signers aware that seismic survey vessels have long been required to transport and pay for marine mammal and turtle observers that have authority to stop seismic activity if any are spotted? It might be smart for scientists to shy away from any NGO sponsored activities that may have financial or dubious political motives. Doing so might harm your research opportunities in the future. On the other hand it might get you a grant. If you get a grant I hope it is to do a publishable controlled experiment. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
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E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
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