The pandemic has led to a drop in global shipping. Far fewer freight and cruise ships can be spotted in the waters off Norway's Lofoten Islands, but whale sightings have increased. The underwater noise reduction is a blessing for marine creatures.
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A 2019 mine clearance operation in the Baltic Sea killed several porpoises as alleged, Germany's nature conservation agency has concluded. The animals, Germany's only native whale species, are on the endangered list.
The COVID-19 lockdown could become an unprecedented natural experiment in noise pollution. Some of the world's most vocal animals — birds and whales — might already be benefiting from a quieter environment.
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