Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce an Open Access paper in Conservation Letters on the 
management of cumulative underwater noise pollution. Includes working examples 
with North Sea harbour porpoise and North Sea herring:

Merchant, N.D., Faulkner, R.F., Martinez, R. (2017) Marine noise budgets in 
practice. Conservation Letters.

Many countries have made statutory commitments to ensure that underwater noise 
pollution is at levels which do not harm marine ecosystems. Nevertheless, 
coordinated action to manage cumulative noise levels is lacking, despite broad 
recognition of the risks to ecosystem health. We attribute this impasse to a 
lack of quantitative management targets – or ‘noise budgets’ – which regulatory 
decision-makers can work towards, and propose a framework of risk-based noise 
exposure indicators which make such targets possible. These indicators employ 
novel noise exposure curves to quantify the proportion of a population or 
habitat exposed, and the associated exposure duration. This methodology 
facilitates both place-based and ecosystem-based approaches, enabling the 
integration of noise management into marine spatial planning, risk assessment 
of population-level consequences, and cumulative effects assessment. Using data 
from the first international assessment of impulsive noise activity, we apply 
this approach to herring spawning and harbor porpoise in the North Sea.

Kind regards,


Dr Nathan Merchant
Principal Scientist, Noise & Bioacoustics Team
Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0HT, UK
Tel: +44(0) 1502 527780 | Mob: +44 (0) 7789 651086
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