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EMB Working Group on Underwater Noise Kicks Off

On 8 June 2020, the new EMB Working Group on Underwater Noise met for the first time during the kick-off meeting held online. The meeting was chaired by Frank Thomsen (DHI, Denmark) and Sonia Mendes (JNCC, UK).

In June 2008, EMB published Position Paper 13, The effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals: A draft research strategy. More than ten years on, the research landscape has evolved and a significant body of work has been published in developing our understanding of the impacts of underwater noise on a wider range of marine species including fish and invertebrates. At a European policy level, the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was adopted in June 2008 and recognized underwater noise as an ocean pollutant for the first time, with Descriptor 11 for Good Environmental Status (GES) specifically referring to underwater noise. Globally, development in the monitoring of ocean sound has been the approval by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) of an ocean sound Essential Ocean Variable (EOV), initiated by the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO) and the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE), and which will be overseen by IQOE.

This working group will work towards producing am updated foresight report in the form of a Future Science Brief in 2021 on Underwater Noise. This will looks at progress related to this topic, raise awareness of current knowledge and research gaps, taking a broader scope beyond a focus on marine mammals, and highlighting inherent conflicts that exist in relation to underwater noise and its use.

The working group members are:

Chair: Frank Thomsen, DHI, Denmark
Co-Chair: Sonia Mendes, JNCC, UK
Alessandro Cresci, IMR, Norway and EMB Young Ambassador
Carina Juretzek, BSH, Germany
Cecile Ducatel, Ifremer, France
Elena Ciappi, CNR, Italy
Elisabeth Debusschere, VLIZ, Belgium
Frans-Peter Lam, TNO, Netherlands
Frederic Bertucci, Laboratoire BOREA, France
Joanne O’Brien, GMIT, Ireland
Manuel dos Santos, ISPA, Portugal
Monika Breitzke, Germany
Thomas Folegot, Quiet-Ocean, France

You can find out more about this working group here.