Acoustic surveys exploring the seafloor for oil deposits have been linked to a two to three-fold increase in the death of plankton.

A new study conducted off the coast of Tasmania has found that firing an acoustic survey air gun reduced zooplankton caught in nets by more than 60 per cent in the hour after the gun was fired.

The researchers say that more research is urgently needed to determine the impact of this widely-used technology.

The paper is accessible here.