Brussels, Helsinki and Paris. Recent and current stops for the OceanCare Team to raise concerns over the negative impacts of noise pollutions on marine wildlife. One of our foci is not just to make decision makers impose Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) prior to intense noise activities in our oceans, but also to argue for a standardized and progressive model for how to undertake such EIAs. Underwater noise is a highly complex issue and it is implicit that in particular management authorities, who deal with granting, rejecting or withdrawing permits and licenses, often need guidance and support for making proper judgements. Too often it is left to the industries themselves to provide EIAs.
And while terrestrial noise pollution is recognized as a serious threat to human health, underwater noise – which travels much longer distances in much higher intensities – still awaits being taken more seriously by decision makers and management authorities around the world.
At the recent Conference of Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas, state representatives did not adopt proposed guidelines for proper EIAs prior to anthropogenic noise activities, arguing they didn’t have enough time to do so – ignoring the facts that these guidelines have been the document given the longest time for review and meeting all deadlines. However, the convincing necessity of such guidelines made states agree that these shall be reviewed and then brought up for decision at the next Meeting of Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), making them a global tool.
Although OceanCare had been hoping for faster action, we are happy with this outcome.
On Monday, 19th September, we participate in an event organised by our colleagues at IFAW and the Belgian environment ministry in Brussels, where predominantly EU decision makers will gather to discuss the issue. One highlight of this event will be the screening of the documentary “Sonic Sea” by our partner organisation NRDC. The following day, Tuesday, campaigner for OceanCare and NRDC Nicolas Entrup will participate in the international conference “Racket in the Oceans” and the panel discussion “From noise measurement to impact assessment” in Paris.
So, our team is busy and trying its best to speak out for marine wildlife.
This also reminds us to say THANK YOU for making such efforts possible. We keep you posted.