Killer whales and noise pollution in Norway



What is this recording?

This underwater recording of a pod of orcas, or killer whales, was made by Ocean Sounds to demonstrate how noise pollution affects marine animals.

How is marine life affected by human noise pollution?

Marine animals rely on their hearing to navigate, communicate and catch their food. But underwater, sound is louder and travels further. When whales feed on herring, they use different calls for communication. Noise produced by humans, such as that from motorised boats, disrupt the whales’ ability to communicate and ultimately impact activities of mating, finding food and nursing their young. In this recording, we can hear how an idling whale-watching boat disrupts the orcas’ attempts to communicate with its family group, otherwise known as a pod.

Who are Ocean Sounds?

Ocean Sounds in an environmental charity, founded by biologist Heike Vester in 2005. Their purpose is to research the biology and vocal communication of whales and dolphins across the world, and work to promote the understanding and protection of marine ecosystems through education, art and tourism.

This recording comes from Ocean Sounds’ collection of marine mammals and fish of Lofoten and Vesterålen, two sets of islands in Norway.

Killer whales and noise pollution in Norway
Sound recording
Ocean Sounds
© Heike Vester/Ocean Sounds; Image: © George Karbus
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Wild coast

Article by:
Cheryl Tipp, British Library Learning

The coast is a dynamic landscape, full of wildlife and ancient natural processes. Explore how the boisterous cries of gulls and the mystical sounds that exist along the wilder stretches of shoreline play a crucial role in creating the ocean soundscape.

Related collection items