Shipping noise is a marine pollutant that contributes significantly to the marine soundscape and is a stressor of marine animals, particularly marine mammals. In Australia, the characterisation and actual impacts of shipping noise on species behaviour are not clearly understood and information is needed. This research is a collaboration between Curtin and Murdoch Universities and hub partners to provide quantitative spatial and temporal maps of shipping noise to inform on noise exposure and impacts to matters of national environmental significance (MNES) within the EEZ and in World Heritage Areas. The outputs will provide key information to marine management agencies such as the Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE), Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), to help them meet responsibilities and obligations under international and national law and policy to minimise the impacts of shipping noise on MNES.
Spectrogram of noise from a ship. (Source: Joshua Smith, Murdoch University - using data from Integrated Marine Observing System)