The International Maritime Organization (IMO) plans to present a revised plan in January to reduce underwater noise from ships. The IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction will propose steps to further reduce a ship’s noise footprint to the higher-level Marine Environment Protection Committee. The IMO has primarily focused on recommendations to improve hull design to increase noise resistance. Other options for minimizing damage to marine life include reducing ship speeds and adjusting routes. Environmentally sensitive areas may need additional marine protected areas to spur conservation efforts. Commercial shipping has been identified as one of the top contributors to underwater noise, which harms a wide variety of aquatic life. Marine mammals like right whales, which rely on sound for communication, are particularly at risk. Once agreed upon, the IMO will enact regulations to minimize ships’ generation of harmful underwater noise.
The proposed plan by the IMO aims to reduce underwater noise from ships, which has been found to be harmful to aquatic life. The organization plans to present a list of steps to reduce a ship’s noise footprint to the Marine Environment Protection Committee. Currently, the IMO has focused on improving hull design as a way to increase noise resistance. However, further efforts include reducing ship speeds and adjusting routes to minimize voyages through environmentally sensitive areas. Commercial shipping has been identified as a major contributor to underwater noise, which negatively affects various marine species. Marine mammals, such as right whales that rely on sound for communication, are particularly vulnerable. If the IMO member states agree on the plan, regulations will be enacted to minimize ships’ generation of harmful underwater noise, with federal laws required for enforcement.Share it now