Ospar Commission
OSPAR's Quality Status Report 2023 Friday Ocean Findings Issue 33
Over the last century, human activities such as shipping, recreational boating, and energy exploration have increased along our coasts, offshore, and deep ocean environments. Sound from these activities can travel long distances underwater, leading to increases and changes in ocean noise levels in many coastal and offshore habitats.

This week's Friday Ocean Findings highlights 2 new assessments on impulsive sounds and the risk of impact from anthropogenic impulsive sound.

These other assessments, when viewed as part of the QSR 2023, help build a picture of the overall condition of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic and progress towards achieving our vision of a clean, healthy and biologically diverse North-East Atlantic Ocean, which is productive, used sustainably and resilient to climate change and ocean acidification. The results will also be used by OSPAR Contracting Parties to inform policy decisions.

We hope you enjoy these Indicator Assessments. Please do contact us with any comments at communications@ospar.org #OSPARprotects
Distribution of Reported Impulsive Sounds in the Sea

Reported impulsive noise activity increased overall during the assessment period (2015-2019), with most reported activity occurring in the North Sea. Seismic airgun surveys were the dominant sound source. Since data are unavailable for some countries and sound sources, these results represent an under-estimation of activity in the OSPAR Area.

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Risk of Impact from Anthropogenic Impulsive Sound

Estimated risk of disturbance to harbour porpoise from reported anthropogenic impulsive sound decreased by 48% from 2015 to 2017, then increased 31% from 2017 to 2019. Exposure of harbour porpoise to anthropogenic impulsive sound was typically greatest during August-October. More comprehensive reporting will improve confidence in the assessment.

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OSPAR Commission
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