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EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 11: Underwater Noise Lindy Weilgart, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 11: Underwater Noise Lindy Weilgart, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive Descriptor 11: Underwater Noise Lindy Weilgart, Ph.D.

2 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive  Established in 2008 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union  In 2010, the European Commission set the criteria for Good Environmental Status (GES) by various Descriptors—11 in total  Targets of MSFD are: - protection of marine environment - Sustainable use of marine goods and services - GES in European seas by 2020

3 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive  First regulation that specifically mentions noise  A major effort in addressing underwater noise at a large scale  Ecosystem scale of management  Regional approach to implementation

4 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive 1. Preparatory steps are an initial assessment of actual status in national marine waters 2. Next step is determination of what GES would look like 3. Comparison of actual and desired status leads to establishment of environmental targets These three steps must be reported to European Commission in 6-yr cycles, for the first time in July 2012

5 Implementation Steps Initial assessment of environmental status of MS waters (2012) Determination of GES (2012) Establishment of environmental targets and indicators (2012) Monitoring programme for ongoing assessment and regular updating of targets (2014) Programme of measures designed to achieve or maintain GES (design 2015, operational 2016) Initial assessment, objectives, targets & indicators 2012 (+ 6 years) Monitoring Programmes 2014 Programmes of Measures 2015 Implementation of the marine strategy 2016 Six year review of the different elements of the strategy 2018 – 2021 Courtesy of: René Dekeling Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, NL

6 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive  Laws from the Council of the European Union bind Member States (MS) to implement them.  This can be achieved through Council Regulations or Council Directives. - For Regulations, MS directly apply the statements of the regulations; - For Directives, they need to be transposed into national laws

7 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive  Sets framework—structure and timeline—but no details  Details are developed within a common implementation strategy  Details of implementation left to MS to decide how to turn (“transpose”) EU Directive into national laws  Qualitative descriptors are “translated” into quantitative criteria and indicators

8 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive  Coordination and cooperation between EU countries is key  Does not replace existing legislation that regulates at smaller scales (SEA, EIA and Habitats Directives)  No overarching EU targets but this may change  Does not apply to naval activities, but MS should try to conduct them with objectives of Directive  11 Descriptors, 29 Criteria, 56 Indicators

9 EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive GES Descriptors:  1: Biodiversity  2: Invasive species  3: Overfishing  4: Maintenance of marine food webs  5: Eutrophication  6: Benthic ecosystems  7: Hydrographic conditions  8: Contaminants not giving rise to pollution effects  9: Seafood contaminants safe for human consumption  10: Marine litter  11: Introduction of energy, including underwater noise

10 Descriptor 11: Introduction of energy, including underwater noise, is at levels that do not adversely affect the marine environment 2 indicators described: - short duration: low and mid-frequency impulsive* noise *includes sonars -- long lasting: low frequency continuous noise Clarification/guidance required  Expert group formed (TSG Noise)

11 Indicators Criterion Distribution in time and place of loud, low and mid frequency impulsive sounds - The proportion of days and their distribution within a calendar year, over geographical locations whose shape and area are to be determined, and the spatial distribution in which source level (or suitable proxy) of anthropogenic sound sources, measured over the frequency band 10 Hz to 10 kHz, exceeds a value that is likely to entail significant impact on marine animals (11.1.1).

12 Impulsive noise indicator  Main effect: “considerable” displacement, habitat loss  CI of activities, not indiv projects  Most MS no quant. descr. of GES due to insufficient knowledge of CI  As an indicator, behav. change possibly more relevant than injury, because it affects larger part of the pop and area  Assess pressure of piling, seismic, sonar cumulatively (not achieved previously at this scale), then evaluate effects and set targets  Assess area impacted  Set up register of impulsive noise activities at regional and EU level, use to establish current level and trend in impulsive sounds

13 Impulsive Activities Included in Register  Register can be used for noise mapping  Most important sources for inclusion: seismic, pile-driving, explosives, sonar, some ADDs  For impact pile-drivers and multiple explosions, no minimum threshold, all should be registered  For sonars, airguns, acoustic deterrents and single explosions, minimum thresholds used: - Non-impulsive sources 176 dB re 1 μPa m - Impulsive sources 186 dB re 1 μPa² m² s (SEL), airguns 209 dB re 1 μPa m (0-p)

14 Options for Impulse Target Setting:  A target on the maximum allowable number of pulse-block days in an assessment area  A no-deterioration (i.e. stable or negative trends) target on the number of pulse-block days in an assessment area  A percentage target on the assessment area that is affected due to noise disturbance -i.e. at any given day less than x% of the assessment area is lost due to noise disturbance

15 Impulse Noise Indicator  Use as baseline where there is negligible pop displacement from noise  Insufficient knowledge when too much disturbance would compromise GES  Realistic target setting only possible once baseline known and more info on noise impacts  TSG Noise will continue to work in 2013 and 2014 to provide advice on thresholds and targets  Setting actual threshold level is up to MS

16 Indicators Criterion Continuous low frequency sound - Trends in the annual average of the squared sound pressure associated with ambient noise in each of two third octave bands, one centred at 63 Hz and the other at 125 Hz, expressed as a level in decibels, in units of dB re 1 μPa, either measured directly at observation stations, or inferred from a model used to interpolate between or extrapolate from measurements at observation stations (11.2.1).

17 “The ambient noise level measured by a statistical representative set of observation stations in Regional Seas where noise within the 1/3 octave bands 63 and 125 Hz (centre frequency) should not exceed the baseline values of year [2012] or 100 dB (re 1μPa rms; average noise level in these octave bands over a year).” Tasker ML, Amundin M, Andre M, Hawkins A, Lang W, Merck T Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Task Group 11 Report, Underwater noise and other forms of energy. JRC and ICES. Continuous LF Noise

18 Continuous LF Indicator TSG Noise suggested: Trends ONLY are NOT sufficient to describe GES: Trends indicate whether the actual pressure on the environment (e.g., shipping noise) is rising or falling. To describe actual GES levels, a combination of measurements and modelling/ mapping will be needed.

19 Summary n First reg. that specifically mentions noise n GES in European seas by 2020 n Ecosystem scale of management n No overarching EU targets but this may change n 2 indicators: MF and LF impulsive & LF contin. n Impulsive: “considerable” displ., habitat loss n CI of activities, not indiv projects n Set up register of impulsive noise activities n For LF continuous, trends with measurements/ mapping/modelling needed


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