Non-Collapsable Underwater Noise (WG6)

How do we approach underwater noise?

As human activities at sea are multiplying, with them comes an increase in noise from these activities, which in turn translates into an overall increase in underwater radiated noise (UNR). This WG 6 focuses on understanding all sources of noise at sea that have or may have an adverse impact on the marine environment, including marine organisms and their habitat and the development of science in assessing this impact to inform the implementation of international regulations on the protection and preservation of the marine environment and inform adequate marine policy interventions in response.

An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that underwater noise emitted from commercial vessels is a stressor for marine species and ecosystems, including various marine mammals, fish and invertebrates, and notes that the noise emitted by commercial ships is higher in energy than recreational vessels and is generally below 1, 000 Hertz (or 1 kHz) which is the same broadband low-frequency ranges identified as critically important for many whales and fish species.

Graph 1. Impact of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine macro-fauna

Based on an Infographic published by the French Government with support from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB) and the Armaterus de France. Available here