How Noise Pollution Harms Dolphins

We already know how damaging pollution can be to our ocean life. But what about noise pollution? When we think about pollution, we tend to consider things like plastic waste or emissions impacting the atmosphere. But noise pollution can pose a serious threat to dolphins and other marine life. Before you head out on your next Myrtle Beach vacation, here’s a look into it’s impacts and how we can help.


It’s important to understand what exactly noise pollution is before we can address the issue. According to National Geographic, “Noise pollution is considered to be any unwanted or disturbing sound that affects the health and well-being of humans and other organisms.”

In our daily lives, examples of noise pollution might include power lawnmowers, noise associated with construction, transportation noise, electrical generators, and loud music. But in nature, it’s causes are much different. Animals can be impacted by sounds like sonar devices, seismic tests, oil drills, and ships.


Dolphins communicate largely by echolocation. A dolphin can emit a high-pitched sound and determine an object’s location based on how long it takes for the sound waves to return to the dolphin. Echolocation works best when the environment is tranquil and calm, so it’s easy to understand how noise pollution can render echolocation ineffective.

Not only can sonar devices and other underwater tests be loud, but their sounds can also travel hundreds of miles underwater. Marine mammals like dolphins may be forced to swim far away from their homes to escape the noise, which can disturb their hunting patterns and daily routines.

Many parts of the world are already seeing the devastating impacts of noise. In Hong Kong, for example, the number of dolphins within the Pearl River Delta has dropped by more than 80% in just 15 years. The main cause? “Severe human disturbance,” mostly in the form of noise.


So, what can be done? Many solutions are currently in the works, including technologies like acoustic bubble curtains near offshore wind farms and elevated boat engines that sit off the ship floor and further from the water.

Perhaps the most impactful way to help reduce noise pollution is with your vote! Research your local politicians, as well as state and federal leaders, and learn who is actively pushing for legislation that aims to reduce noise pollution. Casting your vote on this important issue lets our elected officials know just how much the matter means to you.

Simply gaining awareness about the impact of noise pollution goes a long way toward finding a solution. At Blue Wave Adventures, we aim to educate our guests about the ocean and its inhabitants while also offering an entertaining and thrilling experience on the water. We love hosting dolphin tours in Myrtle Beach and want to make sure our favorite ocean friends are around for decades to come.

Contact Blue Wave Adventures today to learn more about our excursions and to book your next trip.

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