It seems noise pollution is not only giving humans hearing problems but also preventing fish from “going” home.
Too much boat noise keeps reef fish away from their natural habitat, according to a new study from the Universities of Bristol, Exeter (both in the United Kingdom) and Liège (Belgium) recently published in Marine Ecology Progress Series. This threatens fish survival and may lead to a significant decrease in supply of this important source of protein, particularly in archipelagic countries like the Philippines.
Sophie Holles, a researcher at the University of Bristol and one of the study’s authors, said, “Natural underwater sound is used by many animals to find suitable habitat and traffic noise is one of the most widespread pollutants.”
The study, conducted in French Polynesia, found that fish were more likely to swim away when they hear boat noise.
Holles warned: “If (fish) settlement is disrupted by boat traffic, the resilience of habitats like reefs could be affected.”
Study co-author Dr Steve Simpson, a marine biologist at the University of Exeter, said, “Boat noise may scare fish, affecting their ecology. Since one in five people in the world rely on fish as major source of protein, regulating traffic noise in important fisheries areas could help marine communities and the people that depend on them.”
Another co-author, Dr Andy Radford from the University of Bristol, said, “This is the first indication that noise pollution can affect orientation behavior during the critical settlement stage… consideration should be given to the regulation of human activities in protected areas.”
Other study co-authors are Laetitia Berten and David Lecchini.
People have all sorts of questions about the new Domestic Workers Act (Republic Act 10361) or the “Kasambahay Law,” the new legislation that aims to provide better protection to household staff by, among others, requiring employers to make them members of the Social Security System (SSS) and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and setting a minimum wage.
To help people better understand the provisions of the law, Robinsons Malls’ Lingkod Pinoy Center is sponsoring a series of “Kasambahay Forum.” Mall visitors will be briefed on the highlights of the new law by representatives of the Department of Labor and Employment, SSS, PhilHealth, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig).
A question-and-answer session will follow the agencies’ presentations.
The forum will be held on July 5 at Robinsons Starmills Pampanga; July 6 at Robinsons Place Iloilo; July 13 at Robinsons Place Lipa (Batangas), Robinsons Place Angeles (Pampanga) and Robinsons Fuente (Cebu City).
For schedules in other malls, check with the branch nearest you.
The ‘Secret’ is out
The country’s foremost environmental lawyer and Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient Tony Oposa Jr. proudly reports that there is now a transport vehicle in Cebu that runs on solar, wind and human power.
Although its acronym is “Secret,” Tony wants everyone to know that Filipino ingenuity developed the Self-contained Renewable Energy Transport.
The lawyer teamed up with mechanic Brian Yuson of Compostela town to develop Secret. The Inquirer’s sister publication, Cebu Daily News (CDN), describes the vehicle as a semi-train run by a bank of batteries that converts heat and kinetic energy into electrical energy. CDN correspondent Joy Cherry Quito says the batteries are charged from three renewable energy sources—a solar panel, pedal or foot power, and wind.
Tony says they are designing an improved and lighter version using light, native materials.
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