Incidences of marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc. washing up on beaches and dying have become a common phenomenon globally. However, there is still no certainly about what causes these marine mammals to land on beaches and die. There have been various theories that explain the phenomenon, but none could prove with 100% accuracy the exact cause. Now, a new research has revealed new insights about the phenomenon. The new research was conducted by the Maritime Research Centre at the Indian Maritime Foundation, Pune. The research has revealed that noise created by ships in the ocean has been doubling every decade and it could be the reason why marine mammals end up on the beaches and die.
The research studied the cases where dolphins and porpoises had washed up on Mumbai beaches and died. It was found that sound from ships and vessels interfered with the communication between marine mammals, due to which they lost their way and ended up on the beaches. The various sound sources at the sea include sonar waves, seismic studies, and the noise of various machines used by ships and vessels. The research report states that acoustic habitat degradation is the primary cause of stranding and fatalities of marine mammals off the west coast of India. The west coast accounts for nearly 65 percent of the traffic of nearly 30,000 large ships and vessels that travel along the Indian coastline every year.