Anthropogenic underwater noise has been identified as a potentially serious stressor for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW). The Government of Canada is undertaking steps to better characterize the noise sources of most concern and their associated impacts, but there is currently an insufficient understanding of which noise sources are most impacting NARW in their Canadian habitat. This knowledge gap together with the myriad possible methods and metrics for quantifying underwater noise presents a confounding and challenging problem that risks delaying timely mitigation. This study presents the results from a 2020 workshop aimed at developing a series of metrics recommended specifically for better characterizing the types of noise deemed of greatest concern for NARW in Canadian waters. The recommendations provide a basis for more targeted research on noise impacts and set the stage for more effective management and protection of NARW, with potential conservation applications to similar species.
- North Atlantic right whale
- Underwater noise