14 Feb '12, 10pm

In the aftermath of 9/11, whales were less stressed. Why? Fewer boats on the water. via @nytimesscience

A right whale in the Bay of Fundy, where researchers collected whale feces in September 2001. An analysis of hormones indicated that whales’ stress levels declined during a halt in shipping. Advocates for the protection of whales have long argued that they are stressed by underwater noise from ships. Now researchers say that an ocean experiment that was unfolding during the 9/11 attacks offers evidence that that such claims may have merit, at least as far as North Atlantic right whales are concerned. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, governments halted commercial transportation in much of the world – including the Bay of Fundy, the principal summer feeding ground of the whales and the shipping route to St. John, Newfoundland, a busy port. The whales, like other baleen whales, communicate with acoustic signals at low frequency, the range of many noises from ships. ...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/from-911-a-less...

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