A project examining the environmental impact of shipping developed, among other things, a tool for modelling noise emissions that can also be used when preparing restrictions on underwater noise caused by ships. The revision of the guidelines on underwater noise reduction of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was completed at the 9th meeting of the IMO Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) in January 2023, and the updated guidelines were submitted to the 80th meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for final approval. As Finland participated actively in the revision of the guidelines, the measure was implemented as planned. In the programme period 2022–2027, work will continue under the measure “Restricting underwater noise in certain areas and/or at certain times (TPO2022-MELU1)”.
The constantly increasing shipping also increases the amount of underwater noise in the Baltic Sea. Propellers cause a continuous discrete-frequency noise, which can cause e.g. physiological stress to aquatic organisms and interfere with their navigation and interspecies communication.
The aim of the measure is to contribute to implementation and further development of the regulations drawn up by the International Maritime Organization IMO to decrease underwater noise caused by mercantile shipping. The aim is to adopt the goals and regulations set by IMO to reduce noise emitted by marine engines, propellers, and hulls in national legislation.
Ministry of Transport and Communications (LVM) and Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom)