UK Marine Noise Registry

 

Borkum © Trianel GmbHThe Marine Noise Registry is NOW LIVE and ready for data input, available at: https://mnr.jncc.gov.uk/

 

Defra and JNCC have developed the Marine Noise Registry (MNR) to record human activities in UK seas that produce loud, low to medium frequency (10Hz – 10kHz) impulsive noise. Developing the MNR was a commitment made in the UK Marine Strategy.

 

Underwater noise from human activities can affect marine organisms from fish to marine mammals in a variety of ways, from masking sounds used to communicate and find food, to physical injury and even death. Understanding when and where noisy activities take place will help define a baseline level for impulsive noise in UK waters and will inform our research on the impacts of noise, particularly on vulnerable species like cetaceans.

 

The MNR is a user-friendly data input space for industry and regulators. It collects estimated location and date data on noisy activities (during planning stages) and actual location and date data (after the activity has been completed). Where possible, data is extracted from current licensing processes, or provided by developers using a simple online form. This will be mandatory in some cases and voluntary in others, depending on the activity type and licensing procedures involved. Please contact the associated UK regulatory body for specific queries related to MNR data input processes.

 

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Activities include impact pile driving, geophysical surveys (seismic, sub bottom profiling and multibeam echosounders), explosives, military related sonar and some acoustic deterrent devices. The MNR also collects, where available, source property data (in line with TG noise guidance) including frequency, maximum airgun volume, maximum hammer energy, TNT equivalent, sound pressure level and sound exposure level.

 

The initial purpose of monitoring man-made impulsive noise is to quantify the pressure on the environment, by making available an overview of relevant impulsive low and mid-frequency sound sources, throughout the year. Maps will be produced annually showing the spread of activities in ‘pulse block days’ (the number of days within a set period of time that impulsive noise has been generated within each UK oil and gas licensing block). Maps will be available from: https://data.gov.uk/. Data in the Registry are also fed into a Europe-wide registry through OSPAR (the Oslo and Paris Convention for the Protection of the North-East Atlantic).

 
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