OCEAN NOISE AND MARINE MAMMALS

Committee on Potential Impacts of Ambient Noise in the Ocean on Marine Mammals

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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OCEAN NOISE AND MARINE MAMMALS Committee on Potential Impacts of Ambient Noise in the Ocean on Marine Mammals Ocean Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report and the committee were supported by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program with funds provided by the Office of Naval Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08536-5 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-50694-8 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number 2003103681 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF AMBIENT NOISE IN THE OCEAN ON MARINE MAMMALS GEORGE FRISK, Chair, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts DAVID BRADLEY, Pennsylvania State University, State College JACK CALDWELL, WesternGeco, Houston, Texas GERALD D’SPAIN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California JONATHAN GORDON, Gatty Marine Laboratory, St. Andrews, Scotland MARDI HASTINGS, Ohio State University, Columbus (resigned 2002) DARLENE KETTEN, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts JAMES MILLER, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett DANIEL L. NELSON, BBN Technologies, Cambridge, Massachusetts ARTHUR N. POPPER, University of Maryland, College Park DOUGLAS WARTZOK, Florida International University, Miami Staff MORGAN GOPNIK, Board Director JENNIFER MERRILL, Study Director ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Officer JULIE PULLEY, Project Assistant The work of this committee was overseen by the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council.

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OCEAN STUDIES BOARD NANCY RABALAIS, Chair, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin ARTHUR BAGGEROER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAMES COLEMAN, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LARRY CROWDER, Duke University, Beaufort, North Carolina RICHARD DERISO, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, La Jolla, California ROBERT B. DITTON, Texas A&M University, College Station EARL DOYLE, Shell Oil (ret.), Sugar Land, Texas ROBERT DUCE, Texas A&M University, College Station WAYNE GEYER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts MIRIAM KASTNER, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California RALPH S. LEWIS, Connecticut Geological Survey, Hartford JULIAN MCCREARY, JR., University of Hawaii, Honolulu JACQUELINE MICHEL, Research Planning, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland SCOTT NIXON, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett SHIRLEY A. POMPONI, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Fort Pierce, Florida FRED N. SPIESS, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California JON SUTINEN, University of Rhode Island, Kingston NANCY TARGETT, University of Delaware, Lewes Staff MORGAN GOPNIK, Director SUSAN ROBERTS, Senior Program Officer DAN WALKER, Senior Program Officer JOANNE BINTZ, Program Officer JENNIFER MERRILL, Program Officer TERRY SCHAEFER, Program Officer ROBIN MORRIS, Financial Associate JOHN DANDELSKI, Research Associate SHIREL SMITH, Office Manager JODI BACHIM, Senior Project Assistant NANCY CAPUTO, Senior Project Assistant DENISE GREENE, Senior Project Assistant SARAH CAPOTE, Project Assistant BYRON MASON, Project Assistant JULIE PULLEY, Project Assistant

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Preface The Committee on Potential Impacts of Ambient Noise in the Ocean on Marine Mammals was charged with assessing our state of knowledge of underwater noise and recommending research areas to assist in determining whether noise in the ocean adversely affects marine mammals. The committee was selected to represent a diverse range of expertise, including acousticians and marine biologists, as well as an expert in geophysical exploration. The committee convened four times, beginning in March of 2001, including three open public sessions. A wide variety of experts in the field of marine mammals and noise addressed the committee and submitted materials for review. The committee is indebted to the following for their assistance: Dan Costa, University of California, Santa Cruz; Jim Finneran, Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center; Charles Greene, Greeneridge Sciences, Inc.; Richard Heitmeyer, Naval Research Lab; David Kastak, University of California, Santa Cruz; Charles Liberman, Harvard University; Bertl Møhl, Aarhus University; Paul Nachtigall, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology; Charles O’Neill, Naval Oceanographic Office; Sam Ridgway, SPAWAR Systems Center; Ron Schusterman, University of California, Santa Cruz; Peter Tyack, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; and William Watkins, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. In addition, valuable input to the committee’s work was provided by a number of researchers. The committee would like to offer sincere appreciation to Douglas Cato, Australia Department of Defence; Elena McCarthy, University of Rhode Island; Jennifer Miksis, University of Rhode Island; Kevin Smith, Naval Postgraduate School; and Eryn Wezensky, University of Rhode Island.

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Two previous National Research Council reports examined the possible consequences of ocean noise on marine mammals. Low-Frequency Sound and Marine Mammals: Current Knowledge and Research Needs (NRC, 1994) provided an initial survey of our understanding of the impacts of marine noise on mammals. The second report, Marine Mammals and Low-Frequency Sound: Progress Since 1994 (NRC, 2000), primarily reviewed the marine mammal research conducted as part of the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate (ATOC) experiments. Both reports provided a suite of recommendations, many of which still apply and some of which will be reiterated in this report. Coincident with the deliberations of this committee, two Navy sonar systems received a very high level of attention from the press and environmental organizations. Use of one of the Navy sonar systems, the SQS-53C, a mid-range active sonar, was found to contribute to a stranding incident in the Bahamas. In addition, a separate, low-frequency active sonar system, the SURTASS-LFA, was approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service for use by the U.S. Navy. Both of these systems are discussed in this report, since they contribute noise to the oceans, but neither is discussed in detail. One of the challenges in preparing this report was to standardize the units of measure. Another was to clarify commonly used terms in underwater acoustics, seismic exploration, and marine mammology. A glossary is included to assist with some of the general terminology in the report. Chapter 1 of this report provides a brief overview of the issues pertaining to marine mammals and noise and the committee’s approach to answering its charge. Introductory material describes the physics of underwater sound, as a rudimentary understanding of these principles is necessary to understand the material that follows. Chapter 2 describes both natural and human contributions to noise in the ocean and discusses long-term trends in noise levels. Chapter 3 describes effects of ocean noise on marine mammals, focusing primarily on behavioral changes. Models of marine sound and its effects on marine mammals are described in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 contains findings and recommendations of the committee, drawing on the content of the previous chapters.

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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Whitlow Au, University of Hawaii, Kaneohe Douglas Cato, Department of Defence, Canberra, Australia Robert Hofman (ret.), Marine Mammal Commission, Bethesda, Maryland Elena McCarthy, University of Rhode Island, Newport John Potter, National University of Singapore Henrik Schmidt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Jörn Thiede, Alfred Wegner Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany Peter Tyack, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Knox, Scripps

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Institution of Oceanography. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   12     Statement of Task,   16     Applications of the Sonar Equation to Biological Receivers,   19     Structure of the Report,   26 2   SOURCES OF SOUND IN THE OCEAN AND LONG-TERM TRENDS IN OCEAN NOISE   27     Introduction,   27     Natural Sources of Ocean Noise,   29     Anthropogenic Contributions to Marine Noise,   48     Long-Term Trends in Ocean Noise,   74 3   EFFECTS OF NOISE ON MARINE MAMMALS   83     Introduction,   83     Hearing Capabilities of Marine Organisms,   83     Acoustic Trauma in Marine Mammals,   89     Effects of Marine Noise on Mammal Behavior,   90     Masking of Acoustic Cues by Marine Noise,   96     Habituation, Sensitization, and Tolerance of Marine Mammals to Marine Noise,   102     Acoustically Induced Stress,   104     New Research Tools to Understand Marine Mammal Behavior,   105     Marine Ecosystem Impacts of Noise,   106

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4   MODELING AND DATABASES OF NOISE IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT   109     Introduction,   109     Acoustic Modeling of the Marine Environment,   109     Modeling the Effects of Noise on Marine Mammals,   118     Databases,   122     Summary,   126 5   FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   127     Sources of Noise in the Marine Environment,   127     Marine Mammals and Ocean Noise,   129     Ocean Noise Models,   131     Overarching Recommendations,   132     REFERENCES   135     APPENDIXES         A Committee and Staff Biographies   155     B Acronym List   159     C Examples of Underwater Acoustics Noise Models   161     D Research Recommendations from Previous NRC Reports (1994, 2000)   163     E Glossary of Terms   173     F Biological Terms   189