Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Over the last two decades, marine noise pollution has become increasingly recognized as an issue of major significance. The issue has become a primary focus of marine mammal research, but is also of concern to the public and policy makers. The result has been efforts involving a variety of disciplines, and relevant legislation and associated guidance are now in place in many parts of the world. Most current mitigation efforts are directed at reducing the risk of injury from exposure to intense noise, although the effectiveness of such mitigation measures in terms of risk reduction has rarely been quantified. Longer-term chronic impacts of noise including disturbance or masking of sounds critical for feeding and reproduction have received substantially less attention in management. New technologies are being developed for a number of activities which can substantially reduce noise inputs into the marine environment. As with other forms of pollution, reducing input at source is likely to be the most effective way of reducing impacts. We recommend as a priority the implementation of noise quieting technologies and the spatial and temporal exclusion of noise to minimize contact with marine life.