Anthropogenic underwater noise is an emergent pollutant. Despite several worldwide monitoring programs, only few data are available for the Mediterranean Sea, one of the global biodiversity hotspots. The results of the first continuous acoustic programme run at a transnational basin scale in the Mediterranean Sea are here presented. Recordings were done from March 2020 to June 2021, including the COVID-19 lockdown, at nine stations in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Spatial–temporal variations of the underwater sound are described, having one third octave band sound pressure levels (SPLs) from 10 Hz to 20 kHz as metrics. Higher and more variable SPLs, mainly related to vessel traffic, were found close to harbours, whereas Natura 2000 stations experienced lower SPLs. Lower values were recorded during the lockdown in five stations. Median yearly SPLs ranged between 64 and 95 as well as 70 and 100 dB re 1 µPa for 63 and 125 Hz bands, respectively. These values are comparable with those previously found in busy shallow EU basins but higher levels are expected during a business-as-usual period. This is a baseline assessment for a highly impacted and environmental valuable area, that needs to be managed in a new sustainable blue growth strategy.

First basin scale spatial–temporal characterization of underwater sound in the Mediterranean Sea

Picciulin, Marta;Petrizzo, Antonio;Madricardo, Fantina;Bosi, Sofia;Costantini, Ilaria;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Anthropogenic underwater noise is an emergent pollutant. Despite several worldwide monitoring programs, only few data are available for the Mediterranean Sea, one of the global biodiversity hotspots. The results of the first continuous acoustic programme run at a transnational basin scale in the Mediterranean Sea are here presented. Recordings were done from March 2020 to June 2021, including the COVID-19 lockdown, at nine stations in the Northern Adriatic Sea. Spatial–temporal variations of the underwater sound are described, having one third octave band sound pressure levels (SPLs) from 10 Hz to 20 kHz as metrics. Higher and more variable SPLs, mainly related to vessel traffic, were found close to harbours, whereas Natura 2000 stations experienced lower SPLs. Lower values were recorded during the lockdown in five stations. Median yearly SPLs ranged between 64 and 95 as well as 70 and 100 dB re 1 µPa for 63 and 125 Hz bands, respectively. These values are comparable with those previously found in busy shallow EU basins but higher levels are expected during a business-as-usual period. This is a baseline assessment for a highly impacted and environmental valuable area, that needs to be managed in a new sustainable blue growth strategy.
2023
13
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5047261
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