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Shipping industry embracing voluntary noise guidelines

May 9, 2017

Turning science into policy is a long, slow road.  The 2004 launch of the Acoustic Ecology Institute more or less coincided with the emergence of shipping noise as an environmental concern; symposia held by the National Marine Fisheries Service (now NOAA Fisheries) in 2004 and the Marine Mammal Commission in 2005 marked the start of […]

SoCal shipping noise: risk and opportunity sites in whale habitat

April 28, 2017

AEI lay summary of Redfern JV, Hatch LT, Caldow C, DeAngelis ML and others (2017) Assessing the risk of chronic shipping noise to baleen whales off Southern California, USA. Endang Species Res 32:153-167. (open access) A paper published earlier this year (on my birthday; what a nice present!) takes a close look at shipping noise levels […]

IMO adopts shipping noise guidelines, adding to ISO measurement standards

May 31, 2014

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted the first-ever comprehensive guidelines on shipping noise.  The voluntary guidelines mark the first step toward a longer-term goal of bringing noise factors into planning for both ship design and shipping routes. This marks the successful completion of a six-year process, largely spearheaded by NOAA, the US Coast Guard, […]

IMO shipping noise guidelines complete, awaiting approval

September 24, 2013

After a couple of years with no progress to report, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) appears to be nearing completion of “Voluntary Guidelines for the Reduction of Underwater Noise from Commercial Shipping.”  This process began in 2008 with a burst of activity and focus from the US and European IMO representatives, but appeared to languish in […]

Global industry council forms new ocean noise working group

July 13, 2013

The World Ocean Council, an “international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in Corporate Ocean Responsibility,” has launched a new initiative to address ocean noise issues.  Planned to complement the ongoing efforts of the oil and gas industry’s Sound and Marine Life program and the International Maritime Organization’s ocean noise policy work addressing shipping […]

New NOAA maps offer compelling picture of ocean noise

January 6, 2013

In December, NOAA announced the release of the first large-scale ocean noise maps, which have been in development for the past two years.  The Underwater Sound Field Mapping Working Group modeled many sources of sound occurring within 200 miles of the US coast (including ships, seismic surveys, sonar, pile driving, and oil platform decommissioning), as […]

IMO shipping noise reduction effort appears adrift at sea

August 27, 2012

Five years ago, the US led an effort to have the International Maritime Organization address the increasing problem of shipping noise as a contributor to the ocean’s rising background ambient noise levels, which reduces the effective communication area for many species of ocean life.  The first couple of years were promising, beginning with the creation of […]

AEI annual report, Ocean Noise 2009 is now available

March 15, 2010

The Acoustic Ecology Institute has published Ocean Noise 2009, the fourth in its annual series of reports reviewing new research and regulatory developments in ocean noise. AEI’s annual recaps are widely anticipated and circulated among ocean noise scientists and regulators, as well as within NGO and journalist communities. The report can be viewed or downloaded […]

Norwegian company releases first quieting standards for commercial ships

January 18, 2010

This good news is courtesy of Brandon Southall’s SEAblog: DNV, a Norwegian-based company that develops classification-specific standards for the construction of vessels, has released the first industry standard for reducing underwater noise for commercial vessels.  While not targetted at the largest cargo ships and tankers necessarily, this is a notable development within the commercial shipping […]

Report Suggests Retrofitting Noisiest Few Ships Can Quiet Oceans

August 6, 2009

A report commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and submitted in July to the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee, provides a detailed assessment of the prospects for using ship-quieting technologies to reduce the level of background noise in the world’s oceans.  According to the report, which cites a wide array […]

AEI Annual Ocean Noise Recap for 2008 Now Available

February 18, 2009

This year, the annual Acoustic Ecology Institute Spotlight Report on recent developments in ocean noise is too large for easy viewing on a web page. So, we’ve created a pdf version that you can download (or view in your browser if you’re a glutton for punishment). [AEI: Ocean Noise 2008 (pdf, 4MB)] Here’s what you’ll […]

US Urges IMO to Consider Shipping Noise Impacts

April 28, 2008

The annual meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection committee included consideration of two issues related to shipping noise. The Committee invited countries to submit proposals to reduce environmental impacts of increasing tourist-related shipping in Antarctic waters, after an environmental consortium the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition raised the issue in a paper […]