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Cetaceans are potentially at risk of poor welfare due to the animals’ natural reliance on sound and the persistent nature of anthropogenic noise, especially in the wild. Industrial, commercial, and recreational human activity has expanded across the seas, resulting in a propagation of sound with varying frequency characteristics. In many countries, current regulations are based on the potential to induce hearing loss; however, a more nuanced approach is needed when shaping regulations, due to other non-hearing loss effects including activation of the stress response, acoustic masking, frequency shifts, alterations in behavior, and decreased foraging. Cetaceans in managedcare settings share the same acoustic characteristics as their wild counterparts, but face different environmental parameters. There have been steps to integrate work on welfare in the wild and in managed-care contexts, and the domain of acoustics offers the opportunity to inform and connect information from both managed-care settings and the wild. Studies of subjects in managed-care give controls not available to wild studies, yet because of the conservation implications, wild studies on welfare impacts of the acoustic environment on cetaceans have largely been the focus, rather than those in captive settings. A deep integration of wild and managed-care-based acoustic welfare research can complement discovery in both domains, as captive studies can provide greater experimental control, while the more comprehensive domain of wild noise studies can help determine the gaps in managed-care based acoustic welfare science. We advocate for a new paradigm in anthropogenic noise research, recognizing the value that both wild and managed-care research plays in illustrating how noise pollution affects welfare including physiology, behavior, and cognition.



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