2015/014: Request for Information on Steps Taken to Mitigate Underwater Noise

In 2011, CMS Parties adopted Resolution 10.24 on Further Steps to Abate Underwater Noise Pollution for the Protection of Cetaceans and Other Biota.

This Resolution calls for the development of practical guidance for minimizing significant adverse impacts of underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity, which requires that knowledge be improved and shared between Parties.  All CMS Parties are hereby requested to provide information on the implementation of this Resolution, in particular on use of Best Available Techniques relating to efforts to reduce or mitigate marine noise pollution, use of Best Environmental Practice relating to efforts to reduce or mitigate marine noise pollution, related stakeholder exchange processes, integration of anthropogenic noise into the management plans of marine protected areas, and legal requirements or guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessments for activities generating marine noise.

Annex 1 contains further background information on the issue.  Annex 2 contains a simple form which should be completed and returned to the Secretariat by 31 July 2015.

Attention is drawn to notification No. SCBD/SAM/DC/JL/JA/JMQ/84623 issued by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which requests information on measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate the potential significant adverse impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity. For ease of reporting, information submitted to CBD may also be used by CMS, as appropriate. Parties are encouraged to liaise internally in order to ensure the information needs of both Conventions are met.

The CMS Secretariat will collate this information and provide it to the Scientific Council and the Joint CMS/ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS Noise Working Group for consideration.  It will be especially important as background for the development of the guidance on appropriate standards for noise pollution required in response to CMS Resolutions 9.19 (Adverse Anthropogenic Marine/Ocean Noise Impacts on Cetaceans and other Biota) and 10.24.

Last updated on 29 May 2015