WATCH: Sonic Sea - scientists and stars call to save whales from noise

March 9 2016

Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life.

But over the last 100 years people have been pumping more and more noise into the ocean from shipping, seismic testing for oil and gas exploration, naval sonar training, construction, and other activities.

Sonic Sea is a moving and provocative 60-minute documentary created by IFAW and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) about the devastating impact of industrial and military ocean noise on whales and other marine life.

Narrated by Rachel McAdams and featuring Sting, the film offers solutions and hope for a quieter ocean, and underscores that the ocean’s destiny is inextricably bound to our own.

The only good thing about ocean noise is that once we stop making it, it goes away.

Unlike other kinds of pollution which may take years, decades or centuries to dissipate, noise just stops.

Around the world the scientific community, policymakers and authorities such as The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the European Union (EU), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other authorities have increasingly urged noise reduction. On the industry side, noise-quieting technologies are gradually becoming available for offshore construction, oil and gas exploration, commercial shipping, and other activities, but require regulatory intervention to further develop and bring to market.

Relatively simple technologies exist to drastically reduce ocean noise. All that is needed is the political will to make these solutions mandatory.

Sonic Sea will be playing at festivals across the globe and in some countries we may be able to arrange for community groups to host a screening.

I urge you all to visit to learn more about this issue, check out the screening schedule and take action to help stop ocean noise.

Update: Sonic Sea has been nominated for three Emmy Awards, July 2017!

  • Outstanding Nature Documentary 
  • Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction 
  • Outstanding Music & Sound

We join our peers in celebrating the passion and collaboration that went into this outstanding film. Above all recognition is the fact that Sonic Sea has been a critical advocacy tool in our work to advance policy that will curb ocean pollution!

sonic sea trailer

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