EU Marine Directors Approve Underwater Noise Monitoring Document

In their meeting on 4-5 December 2013 the EU Marine Directors have approved the Marine Strategy Framework Directive document “Monitoring Guidance for Underwater Noise in European Seas” (Part I, II and III).

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires European Member States (MS) to develop strategies for their marine waters that should lead to programmes of measures that achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status (GES) in European Seas. MSFD provides a list of eleven qualitative ‘Descriptors’ that determine GES. Descriptor 11 is Noise / Energy.

As an essential step in reaching GES MS should establish monitoring programmes for assessment of the state of the marine waters on a regular basis.

The Monitoring Guidance for Underwater Noise is structured, as follows:

Part I: Executive Summary & Recommendations – is for policy and decision makers responsible for the implementation of MSFD at national level. It provides the key conclusions and recommendations presented in Part II that support the practical guidance for MS and will, enable assessment of the current level of underwater noise.

Part II: Monitoring Guidance Specifications – is the main part of the document. It provides specifications for the monitoring of underwater noise, with dedicated sections on impulsive noise and ambient noise for those responsible for implementation of noise monitoring/modelling, and noise registration.

Part III: Background Information and Annexes – contains additional information, examples and references that support the Monitoring Guidance specifications.

This guidance document was developed by the Technical Sub-Group Underwater Noise (TSG Noise) which was set up as part of the Common Implementation Strategy for the EU Marine Strategy Directive. CEDA is represented on this group by Dr. Frank Thomsen, Senior Marine Mammal and Underwater Sound Scientist at DHI, Denmark who has also been chairing the CEDA Working Group and the WODA Expert Group on Underwater Sound which produced the following documents:

WODA Technical Guidance on Underwater Sound in Relation to Dredging (2013)

CEDA Position Paper: Underwater Sound In Relation To Dredging (2011)

Dr. Thomsen also presented a CEDA Webinar on the subject in April this year.

Press Release, December 20, 2013


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