Changes to an urban marina soundscape associated with COVID-19 lockdown in Guadeloupe

Frédéric Bertucci, David Lecchini, Céline Greeven, Rohan M. Brooker, Lana Minier, Sébastien Cordonnier, Malika René-Trouillefou, Eric Parmentier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to government-enforced limits on activities worldwide, causing a marked reduction of human presence in outdoors environments, including in coastal areas that normally support substantial levels of boat traffic. These restrictions provided a unique opportunity to quantify the degree to which anthropogenic noise contributes to and impacts underwater soundscapes. In Guadeloupe, French West Indies, a significantly lower number of motor boats were recorded in the vicinity of the major urban marina during the peak of the first COVID-19 lockdown (April–May 2020), compared with the number recorded post-lockdown. The resumption of human activities at the end of May was correlated with a maximum increase of 6 decibels in the ambient noise level underwater. The change in noise level did not impact daily sound production patterns of vocal fishes, with increased activity at dusk seen both during and after the lockdown period. However, during the lockdown vocal activity was comprised of a reduced number of sounds, suggesting that anthropogenic noise has the potential to interfere with vocalization behaviours in fishes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117898
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume289
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

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