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Monitoring ambient noise for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive - ME5210

Sound is very important for many marine animals. It can travel easily in water and provides essential information about the physical and biological environment, including possible predators, prey or mating partners. Ambient (background) noise levels in the sea are increasingly influenced by man-made activities such as shipping. There is concern that rising levels of ambient noise pose an increasing pressure on marine life. The EU commission has therefore identified continuous low frequency sound as one indicator for measuring Good Environmental Status (GES) for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Under Descriptor 11 of this directive member states are asked to provide information on trends in ambient noise levels, measured at representative observation stations. However, procedures for measuring ambient noise are still being developed and it is therefore difficult to implement the requirements of the Directive at this stage.
The aim of the study was to consider the feasibility of implementing indicator 11.2 (Ambient Noise) of the MSFD for the UK and to define the likely practical considerations of implementing a suitable monitoring programme. In order to achieve this, three objectives were identified:

1) A scoping study on the practical implementation of an ambient noise indicator for the MSFD

2) To carry out ambient noise data monitoring at one or more sites off the UK to demonstrate that it is possible to collect data that could fulfil future monitoring requirements for the MSFD.

3) Testing the feasibility of the ambient noise indicator for the definition of Good Environmental Status.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : ME5210 EVID4 FINAL 27Oct14   (1996k)
• FRP - Final Report : ME5210 Final Report for publication   (4152k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : ME5210 Final 2 Page Summary   (235k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2013

Cost: £198,565
Contractor / Funded Organisations