Aquatocene / subaquatic quest for serenity (workshop by Robertina Šebjanič)
– the field trip to listen to the underwater sounds on Island Lokrum, nature reservat (near Dubrovnik, Croatia) on the topic of underwater noise pollution.
The workshop was organized by local partner UR Institute (Dubrovnik) and their program Club of young scientist (Klub mladih znanstvenika).
Robertina Šebjanič prepared extended lecture about underwater sound presence of humans and how much the underwater noise pollution is disturbing the marine life, as sound is used for communication and orientation in water habitats for marine life.
With hydrophones we can with listening to underwater world in non invasive way. That is the starting point to rethink our understanding of life in the world’s oceans and the human impact on the marine environment.
The world’s seas and oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. 97% of it is saltwater, 2% is fresh water in the form of ice, and only the remaining 1% is drinking water, distributed around the planet very unevenly. Exploration of any ecosystem requires detailed study and observation. As the ocean is a complex and harsh environment, accessing it requires specially designed tools and technology. It is only in recent years that the technology has advanced to a point where we can examine the ocean in a systematic, scientific, and non invasive way. Our ability to observe the ocean environment and its resident creatures has finally caught up with our imaginations, in turn enabling us to understand it in ways that we could not even have imagined before.
Underwater noise pollution, intense human-generated noise in the marine environment, is the contemporary reality of our industrialized oceans. Noise pollution levels have steadily risen over the last 50 years thanks to increasing use of cargo traffic, sonar, explosives, oceanographic experiments, use of sound cannons to look for oil etc, posing a significant threat to marine life and biodiversity. This noise can cause temporary and permanent hearing loss or impairment, strandings and beachings, disruption of feeding patterns, breeding, nursing, communication, sensing and other behaviors, and in trying to avoid it many species are displaced from their preferred habitat.
The Hydrophone (Ancient Greek ὕδωρ = water and φωνή = sound) is a microphone designed for listening to and recording sound underwater. Hydrophones are based on piezoelectric transducers that generate electricity in response to changes in pressure. housed in a water resistant membrane or ceramic enclosure that facilitate the capture of vibrations.
Aquatocene l workshop l Island Lokrum l photo by Iva Mračić and Robertina Šebjanič