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US Urges IMO to Consider Shipping Noise Impacts

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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 that highlighted several accidents and fuel spills that took place in a 13-month period. While most of the concern at this point is focused on contaminating the pristine waters and coastlines, the relative “natural quiet” in Antarctic waters has also been noted, with the area offering some of the best possibilities for protecting the acoustic integrity of ocean habitat. The Committee also declared the new Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii as a “Particularly Sensitive Sea Area,” triggering new mapping of biologically and culturally important areas to be avoided by ships, and a reporting procedure for shippers moving through the area. In a related development, the US delegation submitted and “Information Document” to the committee, urging the IMO and individual countries to encourage dialogue with shipping industry and support ongoing research into the effects of rising low-frequency noise from shipping on ocean species; no specific action was called for, as this is the first step in moving the topic onto the table at IMO meetings. Sources: BBC, 4/7/08 [READ ARTICLE] Marine Technology Society News Release, 4/7/08 [READ RELEASE]   [DOWNLOAD US INFORMATION DOCUMENT(pdf)] 

2 Responses to “US Urges IMO to Consider Shipping Noise Impacts”

  1. aeinews.org » Blog Archive » IMO shipping noise reduction effort appears adrift at sea Says:

    […] years ago, the US led an effort to have the International Maritime Organization address the increasing problem of shipping noise as […]

  2. aeinews.org » Blog Archive » New NOAA maps offer compelling picture of ocean noise Says:

    […] the goal is to stop the increases.”  See earlier AEInews coverage of the IMO efforts from 2008, 2009, and 2012. addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Faeinews.org%2Farchives%2F2226'; addthis_title = […]

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