As the human population was forced to restrict travel and remain at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, planet Earth has been healing.
Skies have become clearer and animals have been flourishing in new areas without human interruption.
Now, researchers have found that lesser traffic in seas and oceans have led to a drop in underwater noise pollution level, which can prove to be a boon for aquatic life.
The lowered ship-related noises were recorded from January 1 this year near the Vancouver Port in Canada, said David Barclay, assistant professor of oceanography at Dalhousie University. Barclay is the lead author of a paper on real-time underwater sound signals from seabed observatories.
According to a report by The Guardian, while there was a 20 per cent decrease in exports and imports on the port during the four-month period of January to April, a difference of four to five decibels in sound power was seen in the water.
“This gives us an idea of the scale over which this reduction in noise can be observed,” Barclay added. The “giant human experiment” of decreased ship traffic in the ocean is the optimum time for researchers to find out the effect on marine beings.
A similar reduction in traffic was seen after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the study conducted on whales during that time, it was found that underwater low-frequency noise caused by the ships induced a type of chronic stress in baleen whales.
Scientists believe they will be able to find the benefits of a quiet ocean during this lockdown period.