Deliverable 3.1 - State-of-the-art review of monitoring practices for background noise

This review presents best practices guidelines for measuring and monitoring underwater noise to meet the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requirements. Throughout this deliverable, different types of noise measurement equipment, various methodologies and systems for obtaining acoustical data, data processing, and appropriate metrics for reporting noise levels are discussed. The recommended methodologies are described for both continuous and impulsive noise monitoring to ensure adequate data collection for policy making and conservation management.

Regulatory requirements reflect the increasing need to monitor underwater noise due to the growing pressure of anthropogenic activities in the ocean and their risk to sea life. The present recommendations highlight the best practices and identify some uncertainties and ambiguities of noise measurement as well as their solutions.

In addition, a number of projects involving monitoring underwater noise in Europe and contributing to the fulfilment of the MFSD requirements are also discussed.

Deliverable 2 – Inventory of background information

This report reflects a review carried out on the existing information regarding the Portuguese context related to the occurrence of sensitive species, the main anthropogenic activities, and studies carried out for the collection of acoustic data.

You can download the database here.
You can find the main results here.

Deliverable 5.1 - Regulatory Framework for underwater noise monitoring in Portugal

This deliverable aims to review the regulatory framework for underwater noise at different levels focusing on those which more directly may have an impact on underwater noise management in Portuguese waters. It reviews Regional Sea Conventions relevant work, European Union Directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and recommendations issued by international bodies, as for example the ones provided by the International Maritime Organization.

Most of the recommendations reviewed results from the need to protect the marine environment, recognizing underwater noise as a marine pollutant with potential to affect the marine environment. Guidelines and recommendations, although not mandatory, play an important role by providing a relevant framework on underwater noise management both on assessing impacts, and proposing noise reduction and mitigation measures.

At National level there is no specific legal framework for underwater noise management. However, this can be addressed under relevant legislation for environmental impact assessment and marine spatial planning. Raising awareness activities about impacts and monitoring can play an important role on better-informed requirements and decisions.

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