International classification society RINA has acted to tackle noise pollution of the seas by developing a voluntary notation which will apply to vessels for which efforts have been made to mitigate underwater noise.
Paolo Moretti, Head of the Marine Business Line, RINA Services, said, “Noise is the new pollution. The international community has raised concern that the underwater noise generated by commercial shipping may have negative consequences on marine life, especially marine mammals. RINA is tackling that with a new voluntary notation, DOLPHIN, which gives shipowners a clear option to specify commercial vessels which have implemented solutions to minimize radiated underwater noise.”
IMO has recently published MEPC Circ. 833 “Guidelines For The Reduction Of Underwater Noise From Commercial Shipping To Address Adverse Impacts On Marine Life” which sets out advice on design and operational solutions that may be adopted to reduce underwater radiated noise.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed the (ISO/PAS) 17208-1 – Acoustics – Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater sound from ships – Part 1: General requirements for measurements in deep water and ISO/DIS 16554 – Ship and marine technology – Measurement and reporting of underwater sound radiated from merchant ships – deep-water measurement.
RINA has combined these standards into the DOLPHIN notation, which will be applicable from 1 July 2014. It has been developed in response to demand from clients who operate in sensitive marine areas and who wish to demonstrate that they have acted to mitigate the impact of their vessels.
The notation will only be granted to vessels which comply fully with both sets of regulations. The notation will give requirements on instrumentation, site and procedures to carry out the measurements, and will describe the information and post-processing activities necessary for reporting. Limits both for when the ship is underway and quiet ship operational modes are established.