Princeton Professor Defends Seismic Airguns

Princeton emeritus professor Lincoln Hollister for years was associated with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory-managed research vessel Maurice Ewing as it maneuvered in and out of the inland waterways of southeast Alaska and British Columbia, towing seismic airguns for a project called ACCRETE.

According to an article posted in the SandPaper.Net, “Hollister…believes that it is without scientific merit to say the acoustic pulses from airguns cause excessive harm to marine mammals, fish and invertebrates….Seventy percent of Earth is under water, said Hollister, and seismic airguns are ‘the best tool’ scientists have to seek answers about, for example, the pace of sea level rise.

The level and frequency of sound produced by seismic airguns have been exaggerated by those opposed to the studies, Hollister contends. ‘There have been decades of observations in all the oceans of the world – including Gulf of Mexico, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, and my study, ACCRETE – that have not uncovered evidence of damage to marine life,’ he explained. ‘There have also been controlled tests, like fish in a cage and airguns fired progressively closer to the caged fish. The experiments and observations show that airguns pose no significant threat to marine life.
The biggest threats to marine life,” he added, ‘include dredging and fishing and bycatch and ship strikes and change of water conditions – warming – and pollution.’”

Click here to read entire Hollister article.

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