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Impacts of human activities

 

Human activities and cetaceans : striving for cohabitation in harmony

Many human activities can endanger marine mammals and their habitats :

  • Shipping and boating can cause collisions.
  • Large-area pollution builds up along the food chain and causes a high level of contamination in cetaceans due to their position as top predators.
  • Observation of cetaceans can be a source of disturbance and must be done respectfully to ensure their tranquillity.
  • Military manoeuvres and submarine works generate noise disturbance, as does marine traffic to a lesser extent. This sound pollution is detrimental to cetaceans’ orientation and communication and can sometimes lead to stranding.
  • Fishing can be a source of incidental catches of small and large cetaceans, which, although not always fatal, considerably reduce the animals’ capacities and vitality.
  • Waste can hamper the animals or be ingested (causing asphyxia, blockage, etc.).

To manage or reduce all these sources of pressure, Agoa develops awareness actions and federates sea stakeholder initiatives; its management board may also suggest regulatory measures.