Since Amazon has taken over our lives, shipping has exploded. This has caused an issue with noise pollution. An issue that is not easily solved, and finding a solution has proven difficult. One target point to solve this is a new propeller design. The standard propeller design has no skew. The new design introduced is a propeller with a high skew, a similar shape to a croissant. The sound difference between the two could determine life or death for many marine mammals.
Sound Pollution is very deadly, Standard boat propellers cause large air pockets that burst underwater. When one air pocket bursts, there is no issue, but when hundreds of thousands burst rapidly, the sound created can be deafening. The sound of boats can be heard underwater from miles away. Many beach goers have reported hearing large ships passing with no visual on the ship itself. All this noise has caused much destruction in our eco systems. Many reefs located around shipping routes have been deserted due to frequency of the sound. Once beautiful now desolate lands full of grey. The sound we make is deadly.
When marine mammals are close to the propellers, the sound can be deadly; the sound alone can cause disorientation, brain hemorrhaging, or deafness. Marine mammals rely on sound to communicate and navigate. For example, if a dolphin encounters a passing boat and gets separated from its pod, it will have no way of finding where its pod could. Brain hemorrhaging, disorientation, and deafness can cause death. Disorientation and deafness can cause beaching. The sound can be high enough to burst a fishing swim bladder for fish, hindering its ability to control buoyancy and overall swimming abilities. Coral has been documented with high-stress levels, which can cause the plankton that give corals life to leave, with all that’s left is a bone yard to coral skeletons. Certain whale species have even been recorded using a higher frequency to try and bypass the sound of the ship passing by.
However, high skew propellers do not produce as many air bubbles and are significantly quieter for that reason. These push the water instead of cutting through it by quieting the ships noise. This may enhance beach goers' experience under the water, if passing ships and boats where quieter they may be able to hear the sound of the sea. Local reefs could be heard again crackling in the distance. High skew propellers could also cause less boat collision related deaths between the boat and the marine creature coming into contact with it. Allowing certain species to regain their orientation to avoid the boat altogether.
Marine mammals could benefit from this greatly and the whales could go back to using their normal voices to communicate instead of straining to hear each other over the noise. It will also lower brain hemorrhaging rates and the average of beached whales will lower giving them a better chance to raise their population numbers. Fish population near frequent boat paths would also increase due to the quieter noise and better chance at survival near the boats. Our oceans near these spots will have a chance to bounce back. And we may see clear waters full of life surrounding our ships. Lower noise equals lower stress levels in our marine life and lower stress means better chances of our oceans recovering from everything we cause
The sound we make in our oceans have effects on our wildlife. High skew propellers are the future and no skew propellers are the past. One day the oceans will be restored to their former glory and the whale call will be heard once more. All it takes is one small change for the whole world to be changed.
check out Sonic Sea and learn more about noise pollution in our oceans.