The Marine Strategy Framework Directive has officially stated as soon as 2008 the anthropogenic noise due to shipping were to be mitigated. The policy makers, the yards and the ship owners still strongly rely on the expert studies and guidelines to find the appropriate methodology to assess and then mitigate the acoustic pollution impact shipping on the marine biota. To address this issue, the project AQUO “Achieve QUieter Oceans by shipping noise footprint reduction” (www.aquo.eu) started in October 2012 for 3 years. The AQUO project was built in the scope of FP7 European Research Framework. It involves 13 partners from 8 European countries, mixes academic experts, industry representatives from yard, classification society and other acoustic and bio-acoustic specialized bodies.
Addressing the anthropogenic noise pollution into the marine biota is an increasing concern which is logically paired with the increasing commercial maritime traffic. The IMO itself has recently issued a first draft guideline, to be followed up during the next MEPC, addressing this matter.
In parallel to the different achievements that are effective or in progress by standardization bodies or other delegated or assigned work group, the AQUO project aims to finally issue guidelines to be taken as methodological tools. The multi-disciplinary team of this project aims to comply with expectations from the different stakeholders.
First, an overview of the project is given. The objectives and the related project structure are detailed so as to better understand which axes are chosen and studied.
Secondly, it is here proposed to share the recent outcomes of AQUO project. The current status of applied knowledge, related legal decisions as well as standards empowerment are essential to identify the remaining needs and consequent expected efforts. Drawing first the background rationales the noise footprint concept is then detailed. The process followed towards the main objective of mitigating the anthropogenic noise from shipping will be partly revealed and completed by the expected future work to be achieved by 2015.