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Under water noise mitigation and environmental impact

All following aspects should be addressed:

  • Develop standardised methods to measure and assess the impacts from underwater noise generated by shipping and boats. Consideration should be given to the acute and cumulative effects on different water species in rivers and at sea including marine mammals.
  • Establish a stakeholder group of researchers within the domain of underwater noise assessment and mitigation together with other relevant actors including for example NGO’s, marine and waterway authorities, industry, ship owners, naval industry etc. Use this group to support methodology and standards development as well as its wide spread take up.
  • Identify, quantify and validate any negative impacts from different types and amplitudes of underwater noise from shipping and boats.
  • Propose the most effective feasible solutions to mitigate the effects of underwater noise and to establish appropriate limits.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 8 million would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately.

Underwater noise from shipping and boats impacts upon the behaviour and health of water organisms in rivers and at sea, including marine mammals. However, despite previous research, the environmental impacts from effects and the propagation of underwater noise at different amplitudes and frequencies remain poorly understood and largely unquantified. Furthermore, there has been comparatively few studies to better understand the potential noise reduction measures that could be applied to both existing and future vessels.

To enable appropriate mitigation measures, increase understanding of the short and long term environmental impacts of underwater noise from shipping and boats. Identification of the most harmful underwater noise characteristics and the acute and longer term impacts on different organisms including marine mammals. Establishment of standards which can be widely adopted for underwater noise measurement to increase the comparability of data between research programs. Develop cost effective solutions to measure underwater radiated noise from shipping. Identification and assessment of solutions to reduce harm from underwater noise. Develop innovative solutions to reduce the most harmful radiated shipping noise. Provide a foundation for policy. Support implementation of the marine strategy framework directive.