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Recent years have seen a major paradigm shift in the way mankind relates to the sea, from treating the marine environment as an endless resource for human use to a gradual recognition that our interactions with it can have powerful and sometimes negative effects. Of particular concern have been sharp drops in fish stocks and populations of marine mammals and turtles. One of the areas of human activity that may damage these marine populations is the generation of underwater sound.
Military sonar use has been positively linked to mass whale deaths in 2000 and 2002, and regulations have been enacted in many countries to mitigate the possible dangers of this and other sources of manmade sound to marine life. Included in these highly regulated activities is the use of seismic airgun arrays for offshore oil and gas exploration.
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