The joint call is the first UN Ocean Decade focused contribution and implementing activity by JPI Oceans, in its role as Decade Implementing Partner for Europe. The call offered a concrete opportunity to systematically approach ocean challenges, support policy and governance, and carry out experimental research activities on the emerging issue of the acoustic pollution of ocean and seas.
In the first phase, thirteen project proposals involving partners from all eight participating countries were received. The proposals were evaluated by independent, international peer reviewers and ranked by an evaluation panel. On this basis, the Call Steering Committee selected five projects for funding.
The projects revolve around two themes:
- The effects of anthropogenic noise pollution on marine ecosystems
- The development of innovative seismic sources as quieter and effective alternatives to conventional marine geophysical exploration
The selected projects are:
- ORCHESTRA | ecOsystem Responses to Constant offsHorE Sound specTRA | Coordinator: Maarten Boersma, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany)
- DeuteroNoise*| Characterization of maritime noise in different European basins and its impact on ecological relevant deuterostome invertebrates | Coordinator: Lucia Manni, University of Padua (Italy)
- DIAPHONIA | DIagnostic framework to Assess and Predict tHe impact Of underwater NoIse on mArine species | Coordinator: Sandro Mazzariol, University of Padua (Italy)
- SONORA | Filling the gap: Thresholds assessment and impact beyond acoustic pressure level linked to emerging blue-growth activities | Coordinator: Jaime Ramis Soriano, Universidad de Alicante (Spain)
- PURE WIND | Impact of sound on marine ecosystems from offshore wind energy generation | Coordinator: Ana Širović, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, (Norway)
The projects will start their work by the end of 2022, as endorsed UN Ocean Decade projects.
Mankind is noisy by nature, and the impact of noise on human societies seems well known. With growing environmental awareness, our society – scientific researchers, NGOs, policy makers, and citizens – recognizes anthropogenic noise as an emerging pollutant and growing concern for subaquatic environments. Underwater acoustic pollution impacts on the health of marine animal populations and biological productivity.
Therefore, in December 2021, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania and Spain under the framework of JPI Oceans and together with endorsements by BANOS, BlueMed, NOAA and the UN Ocean Decade, launched a call on ‘Underwater Noise in the Marine Environment’. The overall aim is to decrease existing knowledge gaps and to promote specific lines of research that will contribute to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive at regional sub-basin scale, and, therewith, contributing to reach the Good Environmental Status of the European seas and oceans.
*Funding for Romanian partners in the DeuteroNoise project is pending approval.