Commercial Ships Could Be Quieter, but They Aren't
Shipbuilding economics and lack of regulations are getting in the way of a quieter ocean
Date Written: 2016-11-12
Publisher: Dissident Voice
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20101
As the ocean drowns in sound, the number of studies showing the harmful effects of noise on marine life has surged. And so, too, have the projections for how loud things might soon become.
As the ocean drowns in sound, the number of studies showing the harmful effects of noise on marine life has surged. And so, too, have the projections for how loud things might soon become. A new study from researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that over the next 15 years, the level of ocean noise being produced by commercial ships could rise by 87 to 102 percent.
Compounding the situation is a lack of legislation limiting underwater ship noise. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a branch of the United Nations that looks after shipping pollution, has established guidelines for marine noise -- a checklist of best practices, more or less -- but these guidelines are not mandatory.