Limit, cease or prohibit the use of sonars
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Some subtidal benthic invertebrate species rely on sound to communicate, feed, navigate, detect predators, and reproduce. Underwater sonar sounds, for instance from naval ships, may be perceived by marine animals as a threat and disturb their anti-predator responses (Abate 2010; Harris et al. 2018). While the threats associated with sonar are so far mainly linked with marine mammals, in contrast little to no research has been undertaken on marine subtidal benthic invertebrates. However, this does not mean the use of sonar does not represent a potential threat to them, particularly as they can be negatively affected by other underwater anthropogenic noise (de Soto 2016; Pine et al. 2012). Limiting, ceasing or prohibiting the use of sonar underwater could prevent potential unforeseen responses from subtidal benthic invertebrates.
Abate R.S. (2010) NEPA, national security, and ocean noise: the past, present, and future of regulating the impact of navy sonar on marine mammals. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 13, 326–356.
Harris C.M., Thomas L., Falcone E.A., Hildebrand J., Houser D., Kvadsheim P.H., Lam F.P.A., Miller P.J., Moretti D.J., Read A.J. & Slabbekoorn H. (2018) Marine mammals and sonar: Dose‐response studies, the risk‐disturbance hypothesis and the role of exposure context. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55, 396–404.
de Soto N.A. (2016) Peer-reviewed studies on the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine invertebrates: from scallop larvae to giant squid. Pages 17–26 in: The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II. Springer, New York, NY.
Pine M.K., Andrew J.G. & Radford C.A. (2012) Turbine sound may influence the metamorphosis behaviour of estuarine crab megalopae. PLoS One, 7, p. e51790