The marine environment experiences noise from both natural and man-made sources. Anthropogenic sources can include shipping, navigational dredging, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, construction and operation of renewable energy projects, commercial fisheries and marine aggregate extraction, as well as some recreational activities.
Over the past decade, there has been a growing recognition of the potential significance of anthropogenic underwater noise for sensitive receptors such as marine mammals and fish species. This has led to an increased focus on such impacts within environmental assessments and an increase in research effort to understand such issues.
ABPmer has significant experience in the assessment of underwater noise risks associated with the construction and operation of marine developments for Environmental Impact Assessment. Our underwater noise assessments apply a range of acoustic modelling tools to predict the propagation of noise in water. These include simple models based on logarithmic spreading laws and more sophisticated models that incorporate a number of environmental factors and can be used in shallow and deep water.
We take account of the very latest research on species responses, to determine the potential effects of underwater noise on different species and the potential consequences to populations. We also identify mitigation measures that might be required to reduce underwater noise to acceptable levels and avoid a significant adverse effect on vulnerable receptors.