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Measuring noise reduction in the ocean during the pandemic


For decades, it has been assumed that a quieter ocean could help take the Salish Sea’s southern resident killer whales off the endangered species list. But researchers lacked enough data to test this theory — until now.

When COVID19 put the world on lockdown, David Barclay, an assistant professor in the Department of Oceanography, Faculty of Science, and researchers in his lab seized an opportunity to explore how much change has occurred in the underwater noise environment due to the pandemic.

“Oceans Network Canada operate an amazing network of underwater observatories that provide a tool to characterise the soundscape of B.C.’s coastal waters,” says Dr. Barclay. “These hydrophones allow us to analyse everything from the force of winter storms to the presence of killer whales — in near real-time.” MORE

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