Artash Nath

A noisy ocean is a stressful ocean

GenOcean: What challenges do you see the ocean-facing?  

Artash Nath: The rising underwater human-generated noise level in the global oceans is an acoustic pollutant and a threat to marine life.  Annual growth in global trade means an increase in commercial shipping. Unfortunately, the noise from propellers and machinery of ships overlaps with frequencies marine mammals use for communication and navigation. It leads to stress and increases in ship-mammals collision putting endangered species such as North Atlantic Right Whales or Southern Resident Killer Whales at risk. 

GO: How does the ocean inspire you? 

AN: Every day terabytes of new ocean data are generated from ocean and space-based sensors. It inspires me to use technology for the public good: to explore the depth of the ocean and make new discoveries using the power of science, open data, and algorithms.

The ocean is open to everyone

GO: What action(s) are you taking to restore and protect the ocean? 

AN: I have created an open-source web app to measure anthropogenic noise levels in the global ocean.  Monitor my ocean uses open hydrophone data gathered from 8 ocean observatories.  It will allow policymakers to evaluate if their “Quieter Ocean” policies are working and giving endangered marine mammals a chance to reverse the decline in their population.

I plan to expand the App to several other oceanic regions to crowdsource underwater ocean noise monitoring.

GO: What message do you have for others to inspire them to take action for the ocean? 

AN: The ocean is accessible to everyone, directly or indirectly. You can start discovering them at any age and with any skills you have: from music to machine learning. 

Young people want to take action on climate change, biodiversity conservation, and clean energy. We need to give more support to youth-led initiatives.

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