Workshop on Marine Mammal Noise Impact Assessments

On Sunday 6 April 2014 at the upcoming Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society, there will be an international workshop on “Introducing noise into the marine environment: what are the requirements for an impact assessment for marine mammals?”

Background: Noise from anthropogenic sources is a pervasive influence on today’s marine environment. It may come from shipping, smaller craft, seismic surveys, pile driving, or sonar, amongst others. Negative impacts have been demonstrated on a wide range of marine mammals although population consequences are more difficult to ascertain.

A fundamental part of any human activity should be an environmental impact assessment, and in many situations these are a requirement under national or international law. And yet the scope and content of such an assessment can vary greatly between and even within countries.

Objectives: The purpose of this workshop is 1) to review contents that are common to all EIAs, such as baseline surveys, overall impact evaluation, and general mitigation methods; 2) more detailed assessments relating to particular activities (pile driving, dredging, seismic, etc); and 3) assessments that apply specifically to particular environmental conditions or regions within Europe.

Those three themes will form the basis for presentations from key speakers followed by general discussion and break out groups. The aim is to bring together marine mammal scientists, environmental bodies, regulators and industry to produce a series of recommendations that can form specific guidelines for application across Europe.

The workshop has the support of the CMS regional conservation agreements, ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS, and is being held in conjunction with the Joint ASCOBANS-ACCOBAMS Noise Working Group.

If you would like to offer a presentation or simply attend, please contact:

Dr Peter G.H. Evans at<> .

1 comment. Leave a Reply

  1. Gavin Banks

    On the statement: “Negative impacts have been demonstrated on a wide range of marine mammals”:
    This is misleading. In a recent Federal Register note, the NMFS made the following statemement regarding seismic air guns: “Researchers have studied Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS) in certain captive odontocetes and pinnipeds exposed to strong sounds (reviewed in Southall et al., 2007). However, there has been no specific documentation of TTS let alone permanent hearing damage, i.e., permanent threshold shift (PTS), in free-ranging marine mammals exposed to sequences of airgun pulses during realistic field conditions.”

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