Performance indicator's objective:

Reduce underwater noise made by ship operations to reduce impacts to marine mammals.

Notes:

  • Green Marine Europe recognizes that underwater noise may potentially impact a broader range of aquatic species other than just marine mammals. While the initial objective of this indicator covers marine mammals, future development of this Performance Indicator may expand its scope.
  • Green Marine Europe recognizes that for most ships, under most operational conditions, cavitation is the main source of underwater noise.
  • Applicable only for vessels transiting in salt water.

2022 criteria

Level 1

Monitoring of regulations

Level 2

2.1. Conduct regular hull cleaning and propeller blade maintenance. The participant must keep a record of these actions for each vessel in their fleet.

Note: Hull cleaning and propeller maintenance should at least be done during dry dock.

2.2. Review the list of sensitive areas in Canadian, US and EU waters to determine whether the participant’s vessels transit through or have operations in such areas. Ensure that this information is communicated to each vessel.

Note: See Annex 6-A.

Level 3

3.1. Actively participate in providing whale sighting data in European waters through a logbook, a recognized application such as a European version of the US app Whale Alert or the REPCET system (outside mandatory zones for French ship owners).

Note: If sightings are recorded in a logbook, the data should be shared with a recognized central database.

3.2. Develop and adopt a Marine Mammal Management plan (MMMP) in order to reduce the potential adverse effects of vessels, especially within known sensitive marine areas, as identified in Criterion 2.2.

Note: See Annex 6-B.

Level 4

4.1. Incorporate applicable vessel quieting technologies during retrofits and new vessel construction.

Note: Refer to published documents like the IMO and the SNAME MVEP Guidelines, available in the Members section of the Green Marine Europe website. This criterion is applicable only for ship owners ordering/designing new vessels (keel laid after Jan 2018) or conducting retrofits of propulsion systems or other equipment that contributes significantly to underwater noise.

AND fulfill one of the following 3 criteria:

4.2. Work with ports to estimate relative ship noise levels for at least one vessel in their fleet. It is recommended to start by the oldest vessels of the fleet (by year of construction) or by sisterships.

OR

4.3. In line with IMO recommendations, estimate relative ship noise levels of at least one vessel in their fleet by using a dedicated hydrophone. It is recommended to start by the oldest vessels of the fleet (by year of construction) or by sisterships.

Note: Collaboration with a bioacoustician is essential to obtain reliable data.

OR

4.4. Support / collaborate on scientific research on underwater noise allowing the estimation of relative ship noise levels for at least one vessel in their fleet.

AND fulfill the following criterion:

4.5. Determine the cavitation inception speed (CIS) for each vessel in the fleet.

Note: This criterion is only applicable for vessels equipped with a Fixed Pitch Propeller (FPP).

Level 5

Fulfill one of the following 3 criteria:

5.1. Work with ports to estimate relative ship noise levels for 15% of the vessels in their fleet representing at least 10% of the gross tonnage, with a minimum of 3 vessels measured. It is recommended to start by the oldest vessels of the fleet (by year of construction) or by sisterships.

OR

5.2. In line with IMO recommendations, estimate relative ship noise levels of 15% of the vessels in their fleet representing at least 10% of the gross tonnage, with a minimum of 3 vessels measured, using a dedicated hydrophone. It is recommended to start by the oldest vessels of the fleet (by year of construction) or by sisterships.

Note: Collaboration with a bioacoustician is essential to obtain reliable data.

OR

5.3. Support / collaborate on scientific research on underwater noise allowing the estimation of relative ship noise levels for 15% of the vessels in their fleet representing at least 10% of the gross tonnage, with a minimum of 3 vessels measured.

AND fulfill the following criterion:

5.4. Proceed to an in-depth analysis of vessel noise footprint on at least one ship in order to identify main noise sources. It is recommended to start by the oldest vessels of the fleet (by year of construction) or by sisterships. Solutions to be identified and implemented to reduce noise output.

Note: ISO 17208-2:2019 underwater noise standard measurement methodology should be used where possible.

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