Reducing Underwater Noise:

Technological Solutions and Operational Practices for Sustainable Performance in Marine Transportation

Noise pollution has long been an ignored and unregulated aspect of pollution. However, there is now a growing understanding of how excessive noise levels can adversely affect ecosystems, especially aquatic life in oceans and lakes. Continuous noise from commercial ships can negatively impact marine life and ecosystems, limiting their ability to communicate, find food, navigate migration routes, and avoid predators. Recognizing the long-term negative consequences of underwater radiated noise (URN) from commercial shipping, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed guidelines for reducing URN by focusing on the design, specification, operation, and maintenance of onboard machinery. The draft revised guidelines were agreed upon in January 2023 by the IMO sub-committee on ship design and construction. Modern-day ship owners can also implement various technological solutions and recommended operational practices to reduce URN, such as adapting propeller design and operation, modifying the wake flow, carefully selecting machinery and support mountings, selecting alternative fuel and energy generators, and using air lubrication systems. By taking steps to reduce URN, ship owners can promote operational efficiency while also helping to preserve marine life and protect ecosystems.

Click HERE to read this complete article published in the NAFSgreen World Shipping Magazine and co-authored by Alex Routledge, CEO Armada Technologies and Andrew Spiteri Post Doctoral Researcher on Air Lubrication Systems at Liverpool John Moores University offering an approach for the shipping industry, governments, conservationists, and other stakeholders to address this important issue.

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The importance of short-term measures to reduce carbon emissions in shipping

The IMO’s latest GHG reduction strategy and targets are a major step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done if we are to meet ambitious climate goals. We must remain focused and committed to finding solutions that balance both environmental protection and sustained economic growth. Short-term solutions are available to quickly reduce carbon emissions from shipping. From the rapid adoption of high-performance energy efficiency technologies and expediting of UNCTAD’s impact assessments, there are multiple avenues for our industry to take meaningful strides ahead in step with other global actors. Together across the industry, we can make a difference by taking bold steps today – instead of tomorrow.

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