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Feedback from our successful underwater noise workshop

Posted: 12-Mar-2013

HR Wallingford and Baker Consultants recently hosted a workshop to discuss the issue of underwater noise pollution related to marine renewables at the tenth RenewableUK Wave and Tidal Conference. The aim of the workshop was to facilitate knowledge exchange between the industry, regulators and academics. A summary of the workshop is given below.

If you would like more information about the event, please contact HR Wallingford (Samantha Dawson or Mark Liddiard) or Baker Consultants, as the presentations and an audio recording of the workshop are available as FTP downloads. More information is also available on our tools to predict the impact of underwater noise on marine life.

Underwater noise workshop summary

27 February 2013, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, UK

Roger May from Marine Scotland opened the workshop by highlighting the challenges faced by the licensing office and how they review applications for renewable developments in Scottish waters. Two academic talks followed to explain the issues associated with recording underwater noise measurements using passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) devices around wave or tidal devices, leaving the audience pondering whether it is better to have quiet or noisy devices. All three speakers argued as to whether silence is more dangerous than noise to marine mammals. To end the first session of the workshop, NERC representative Annie Linley presented a current project in which the Council is currently involved to advance our knowledge on the impacts of underwater noise on marine life.

After the coffee break, the audience reconvened to listen to Fabrizio Borsani's (Cefas) talk about the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which provided an overview of the current state of the legislation and the guidelines that should be followed to monitor underwater noise impacts. Finally, Thomas Folegot from Quiet-Oceans, offered a consultant's point of view for predicting risk using sophisticated underwater noise modelling techniques.

All of the speakers delivered very interesting presentations which paved the way for an engaging panel discussion. Discussion points included whether the German model regarding Task 11 of the MSFD is applicable to the UK. The audience highlighted the fact that the MSFD does not overrule the EU habitat directive which is already in place. We received some great feedback from both speakers and attendees.

We would like to thank the speakers and RenewableUK for their valued contribution in making the workshop a success.

The presentations and an audio recording of the event are available as FTP downloads. For access to these resources, contact HR Wallingford (Samantha Dawson or Mark Liddiard) or Baker Consultants. More information is also available on our tools to predict the impact of underwater noise on marine life.

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