Whales change their tunes when ships appear

Story highlights

  • Humpback whales use sound to find food and mates and to navigate around the ocean
  • Commercial ships emit low-frequency noise that disrupts whale communication

(CNN)Commercial ships emit low-frequency noise wherever they roam and this unwanted soundtrack negatively impacts marine life, new research suggests. Humpback whales stop singing or shorten their songs with the passing of ships, a new study published Wednesday in PLOS One reveals.

Ocean noise has been increasing in recent years, according to the study authors.