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Norway to proceed with sound experiment on whales, regardless of protests

A research team is intending to capture a dozen juvenile minke whales off the Norwegian coast and use sensors placed on their skin to measure their brain responses in reaction to sound.

The research team conducting the experiment says it is designed to understand which kinds of human-made ocean noise affect the whales, as human-made sound can have an impact on an animal’s hearing and behavior and cause it stress.

“We have essentially no knowledge of their hearing, and it’s important to noise regulators to know what kind of noise might affect them,” Petter Kvadsheim, chief scientist at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), told CNN. He added that the team won’t be testing the animals’ noise tolerance, or how they respond to the sound behaviorally.

“We expose them to the lowest sound they can hear to find their hearing threshold, using electrophysiological methods developed for use on newborn children,” said Kvadsheim, who is the co-lead investigator on the experiment….

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