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Ocean Issues

Reports on Ocean Noise

Following are links to key reports on ocean noise issued by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and conference organizers. Reading some of these reports will give you a much deeper appreciation for both the complexity and urgency that underlie the current drive to better understand the effects of anthropomorphic sound on ocean environments.

Also see the Sound Science section for recent research results and links to research programs [GO THERE] and for posts on new research reviews [GO THERE]

Overviews of Ocean Noise

EU/US Research Priorities Report - This project was catalyzed by the European Science Foundation, with active participation from key US agency staff and academic researchers. The result is a good summary of current knowledge, with a detailed assessment of the the research questions that most need to be addressed my the next round of research, so as to continue to coherently flesh out the key unanswered questions about the effects of ocean noise on wildlife. [DOWNLOAD REPORT(pdf)]

IFAW Report: Turn it Down - The International Fund for Animal Welfare published this new edition of its report in 2008. It offers a decent overview of the key issues, in a graphically beautiful layout. Not as much detailed science as many of the others, but a good intro to the policy issues. [DOWNLOAD REPORT(pdf)]

UK Interagency Committee on Marine Science and Technology - Concise overview of ocean noise and marine life, written in 2006. Its unusually comprehensive recommendations include mapping ocean noise in UK waters (including ambient noise and discrete noise sources) and using the information in issuing permits, amending current environmental regulations as needed to include consideration of noise, and standardization of noise studies including sharing of data. [DOWNLOAD REPORT(pdf)]

Marine Mammal Commission: A Sound Approach to Research and Management - After two years of meetings, a federal advisory committee consisting of representatives of the military, industry, academia, regulatory agencies, and environmental organizations was unable to agree on a consensus report, so the MMC had to write one on its own, released in early 2007. A year earlier, the committee released a report that contained detailed statements from each of the groups that took part; these "caucus statements" are included as an Appendix to the MMC report, along with reports on two related symposia, one on international responses to ocean noise and one on beaked whales and sonar. [DOWNLOAD REPORT (pdf)]

AEI Spotlight Reports: Annual Recaps of Science and Regulatory Developments
[OCEAN NOISE 2006 REPORT WEBPAGE] [2006 doc] [2006 pdf]
[OCEAN NOISE 2007 REPORT WEBPAGE] [2007 doc] [2007 pdf]

Impacts of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Environments - Paper by Michael Stocker, commissioned by Earth Island Institute, with a special focus on the use of sound by fish and mollusks and a brief overview of natural and biological noise in the oceans. [READ PAPER]

Ocean of Noise - The UK-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society released a 165 page report in 2003, available on its website; its primary focus is on taking action to protect sea life from damaging impacts. [READ REPORT]

Ocean Studies Board Marine Mammal Reports - The Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council, a US-government funded institute, has produced a series of research overviews focusing on the effects of noise on marine mammals. Each is a wealth of resources, albeit on a solidly cautious scientific foundation; each makes urgent calls for greater agency investment in much-needed further research.
Ocean Noise and Marine Mammals (2003) [WEBSITE]
Marine Mammal Populations and Ocean Noise: Determining When Noise Causes Biologically Significant Effects (2005) [WEBSITE]
Marine Mammals and Low-Frequency Sound: Progress Since 1994 (2000) [WEBSITE]

AEI Special Report: Active Sonars - Continually updated overview of naval active sonar systems, operational guidelines, deployment, news items, links to NGO and Navy websites. [READ REPORT]

Seismic Surveys: What we Don't Know Can Hurt - A 2004 research overview by AEI founder Jim Cummings. Executive Summary and links to download report: [GO THERE]

Ocean Noise Resources - A page on the Ocean Mammal Institute web site with links to reports on noise and fish, seismic surveys, and cetaceans, mostly from before 2005. [WEBSITE]

Sounding the Depths: The Rising Toll of Sonar, Shipping and Industrial Ocean Noise on Marine Life - Second edition of a comprehensive NRDC report on ocean noise, released November 2005. [WEBSITE]

Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition - ASOC, an international consortium of environmental groups that speaks for southern ocean issues at major international meetings (IMO, IWC, Antarctic Treaty, etc.), has produced several good overviews of noise impact issues specific to the pristine waters of the Southern and Antarctic Oceans. [ASOC ACOUSTICS PAGE]

Conference and Symposium Reports

see also Science Conference page [GO THERE]

International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee Meetings - Each summer, before the IWC meeting, the Scientific Committee presents a report summarizing the year's research, including ocean noise topics. AEI summarizes these reports, and provides links to the full publications.
[See AEI Special Report on IWC 2004 Meeting w/symposium on ocean noise]
[See AEI Special Report on IWC 2005 Meeting]
[See AEI Special Report on IWC 2006 Meeting w/workshop on seismic surveys]
[See AEI Special Report on IWC 2007 Meeting]

[See AEI Special Report on IWC 2008 Meeting]

Potential Application of Quieting Technology on Large Commercial Vessels - May 1-2, 2007, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - Follow-up to NOAA's 2004 symposium, this symposium will discuss current knowledge and technical applications, and form working groups to focus in potential quieting targets and quantify likely costs. As of 3/30, the website was not yet active; see NOAA shipping noise page for latest information. [WEBSITE] [PRESENTATIONS]

New Techniques To Diagnose Possible Noise-Related Strandings Workshop - September 7-9, 2007, Woods Hole, MA - This workshop was by invitation only. [WEBSITE]

Shipping Noise and Marine Mammals: A Forum for Science, Management, and Technology - May 18-19, 2004, Arlington, VA - Web site includes many papers and Powerpoint presentations from the NOAA symposium. [WEBSITE]

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