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Human use of the marine environment exerts a range of pressures on marine species including disturbance from noise or physical activity. Disturbance results include stress responses, flight, and changes in foraging for example. Such responses can directly or indirectly reduce the fitness of individuals and health of the population. To manage these potential negative impacts, disturbance impacts are considered in decision making.
However, there are increasing stakeholder observations and reports that bird species become, at least partially, acclimated to disturbance from some marine activities. If acclimatisation occurs, this may change the threshold at which disturbance impacts become significant and thus is of relevance to marine decision making.
The MMO seek evidence on whether, or to what extent, acclimatisation occurs, whether acclimation is species dependant and the conditions under which acclimation occurs such as in interaction with other pressures.