Silent Oceans

OceanCare’s work to restore ocean silence

2015

OceanCare co-authors the study “Overview of the Noise Hotspots in the ACCOBAMS Area” which for the first time highlights the areas in the Mediterranean Sea heavily exposed to underwater noise.

The petroleum industry bows to massive protests and refrains from seismic exploration around the Balearic Islands. The petroleum company Cairn Energy abandons plans to search for oil in the Gulf of Valencia.

Pressured by NRDC and OceanCare, the US Navy abstains from using active sonar and explosives during manoeuvres off Hawaii and California for three years.

2014

Sharing the concerns voiced by OceanCare and its partners, CMS grants the highest level of protection to the noise-sensitive Cuvier’s beaked whale by listing it in Appendix I.

More than 200,000 people protest against oil exploration plans off the Balearic Islands. For the time being, the government of Spain does not issue permits to petroleum companies in this area.

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee passes a revised framework that requires compulsory environmental impact assessments for seismic exploration. OceanCare is part of the working group on the implementation of this framework.

2013

18 international partner organisations join the Silent Oceans campaign.

More than 9,000 people protest against seismic oil explorations carried out without environmental impact assessment off the Croatian coast.

ACCOBAMS Parties adopt a Resolution that paves the way for making environmental impact assessments compulsory prior to marine seismic explorations.

2012

Under the motto “Row for Silence”, German oarswoman Janice Jakait rows across the Atlantic Ocean all on her own in 90 days to support OceanCare’s noise campaign.

2011

Honouring OceanCare’s work on underwater noise, the United Nations Economic and Social Council grants OceanCare special consultative status for marine issues.

The United Nations working group on marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction develops rules for dealing with the high seas. OceanCare makes sure that underwater noise is accounted for.

The UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) calls for noise reduction in marine protected areas and for effective protection of endangered cetacean species by 2024.

OceanCare supports the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in developing standards for less noisy ship’s engines.

2010

The United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) calls on the Parties to develop measures for solving the noise problem.

OceanCare informs representatives of oil and gas exploitation companies, the shipping industry and the navy in Ireland about the damaging effects of underwater noise.

ACCOBAMS Parties endorse noise reduction plans in three particularly sensitive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. OceanCare has been instrumental in developing these plans.

2008

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) acknowledges the adverse effects of shipping traffic noise and starts a programme to develop guidelines for less noisy ship’s engines.

2007

Together with other IONC members OceanCare prevents the US ocean authorities and navy from using high-intensity sonar off the coast of Hawaii.

2006

OceanCare contributes the chapter on underwater noise and its consequences for marine wildlife to the UN Ocean Atlas.

2005

After just one year of consultations, the United Nations concludes that underwater noise is one of the five biggest threats to marine mammals and among the top ten threats to the oceans as a whole.

2004

OceanCare feeds the underwater noise issue into the consultative process on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This is the first time that this subject is discussed within the United Nations.

OceanCare and IONC stop seismic testing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Spain follows the European Parliament’s resolution by banning naval sonar use within a 50 nautical miles radius off the Canary Islands. There have not been any atypical strandings of marine mammals in this region since.

2003

OceanCare is a founding member of the International Ocean Noise Coalition (IONC). 150 organisations from around the globe join the coalition.

An OceanCare petition prompts NATO to improve the design of military manoeuvres in order to reduce harm to marine mammals.

OceanCare calls for a moratorium on high-intensity naval sonar within the EU. In the following year, the European Parliament adopts a corresponding resolution by a large majority.

2002

OceanCare launches the “Silent Oceans” campaign against ocean noise pollution.