Reducing Shipping Noise Levels is the Key to Ensure Environment Protection

BY Tiya Chatterji 14.Nov.2019

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) environmental work group assembled in London for its annual conference this week and the delegates are being urged to consider new regulations to reduce ship speeds. Short term proposals are being considered for the reduction of emissions.

According to new research from environmental groups Seas at Risk and Transport & Environment, cutting ships speeds by 10%-20% could produce 13%-24% less CO2, SOx and NOx emissions, respectively. Seas are at risk with air pollution effecting human health and nature and noise pollution affecting marine life.

The incidences of whale striking ships have increased and it is also learnt that the underwater noises can cause changes in the marine migratory pattern. The report describes how a 10% reduction in speed would reduce underwater sound energy by around 40%, while a 20% reduction in ship speed would reduce underwater noise pollution by 66% and the chance of a fatal collision between a ship and a whale by a massive 78%.

“Speed reduction is the closest thing to a silver bullet the IMO will ever see,” said John Maggs of Seas at Risk”. “Delegates have, on the table, proposals to reduce ship speed that would not just make a big dent in shipping’s climate impact, but would massively reduce air pollution, underwater noise pollution and the incidence of fatal collisions between whales and ships – all issues the IMO must deal with.”