Scientists and researchers from international organizations, States and expert groups have been sharing the latest information on ocean noise, including its detrimental impact on species such as whales and dolphins, at the informal annual meeting on oceans and the law of the sea, at United Nations headquarters, New York, United States (18-22 June).
The theme for this year’s meeting is “Anthropogenic underwater noise”. IMO’s Stefan Micallef and Fredrik Haag outlined IMO’s work to date on ship noise.
Micallef noted that IMO had adopted a mandatory code to reduce noise on ships as well as voluntary guidelines aimed at reducing underwater noise from commercial shipping to address adverse impacts on marine life. Other measures, such as ship routeing measures in designated Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas, can help reduce local ship noise.
Noise has also been discussed in the context of the work of the London Convention and Protocol on the protection of the marine environment from pollution from dumping of wastes and other matter. IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee is encouraging Member States to continue to share experience and understanding of ship noise and its impacts on marine life and to put forward possible mitigation measures.
Micallef and Haag are representing IMO at the 19th Meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-19).