Manage underwater noise sources during ongoing activities, development/construction, and/or port maintenance activities to reduce impacts to marine mammals.
See below the criteria each port authority has to fulfill to achieve each level of performance.
Monitoring of regulations.
Fulfill 3 of the 4 following criteria:
2.1. Promote and raise awareness of tenants and ship operators calling at the port about the issue of underwater noise by distributing pertinent information on the effects of underwater noise on marine mammal and sensitive areas.
2.2. Promote the provision of marine mammal sightings data from a stewardship program with a publicly available database (in Canadian and US waters) through a logbook program or a recognized application (like Whale Alert and Whale Report) to port users, pilots’ associations, and ship operators calling at the port.
2.3. Summarize current knowledge to understand target species, to identify sensitive habitats, and to understand the port activities’ zone of impact. For example, this may inform vessel traffic management (potentially including vessel routing and/or speed).
2.4. Require the services of a trained and experienced marine mammal observer (MMO) during port-related in-water construction or during on-land construction work (below high water) that is known to increase significantly the underwater noise soundscape.
Note: This criterion is only applicable for ports or port tenants having ongoing construction work. The decision of requiring services of MMO should be based on seasonality, presence of endangered species, and sensitive areas.
3.1. Implement all applicable criteria listed at Level 2.
3.2. Develop and adopt an Underwater Noise Mitigation and Management plan (UNMMP), which incorporates a range of noise reduction/mitigation options and best practices/operating procedures for both acute and chronic noise generating activities including construction and shipping.
Note: See Annex 6-A.
AND fulfill one of the following 2 criteria:
3.3. As part of the UNMMP, establish an ambient underwater noise monitoring program, analyze and archive the data to understand local ambient underwater noise conditions.
Note: The program, that is developed in collaboration with a bioacoustician or a specialized firm, would specify the objectives, method, location, and frequencies for monitoring. If the port is planning construction or operational changes, additional noise measurements (using the same protocols) should be done to measure trends in ambient noise.
3.4. Offer a recognition program to ship owners for vessel noise reductions.
Note: For example, ship owners could be recognized for hull and propeller maintenance.
4.1. Implement all applicable criteria listed at Level 3.
4.2. Develop and incorporate targets for underwater noise reduction into the UNMMP in port waters and to the extent possible. These targets should be developed with the help of information obtained from the noise monitoring program.
Note: This strategy would include a methodology to measure progress achieved in order to reduce underwater noise generated by the port and set realistic targets for noise reduction.
AND fulfill one of the following 3 criteria:
4.3. Develop an incentive program for ship owners who implement vessel noise mitigation measures.
Note: For example, this program could offer a discount / berthing fee reduction to vessels that have a notation for underwater radiated noise from a recognized classification society.
4.4. Establish an in-situ acoustic monitoring system to collect relative source level of individual ships. This data should be shared with ship owners.
Note: A specific protocol will have to be developed in order to collect valuable data. This criterion is linked with criterion #4.2 from the underwater noise indicator for ship owners.
4.5. Support/collaborate on scientific research that includes the measurement of underwater radiated noise.
Note: Projects done within the past 5 years can be considered to fulfill this criterion.
5.1. Implement 4 of the 5 applicable criteria listed at Level 4.
5.2. Meet reduction targets on underwater noise.
5.3. Demonstrate continual improvement in implementing the Underwater Noise Mitigation and Management plan to utilize noise reduction solutions and technologies that reduce underwater noise.