UN Passes Resolution Encouraging Consideration of Impacts of Ocean Noise on Living Marine Resources

 

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United Nations Passes Resolution Encouraging Consideration of Impacts of Ocean Noise on Living Marine Resources

   
 

November 29, 2005 - The United Nations General Assembly passed its Resolution on Oceans and the Law of the Sea. The resolution includes, for the first time, a reference to ocean noise.

 

Specifically, paragraph 84 of the Resolution:

"encourages further studies and consideration of the impacts of ocean noise on marine living resources."

 

The paragraph is included in the section entitled "Marine environment, marine resources, marine biodiversity and the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems." This means that ocean noise is considered under the management of the oceans section, rather than in the marine science section.

 

 

The passage of this resolution comes a day after the publication of a report on small cetaceans by the UN Environment Program Convention on Migratory Species. The report cites naval maneuvers and submarine sonar as a new factor threatening dolphins, whales and porpoises.


In addition to net entanglement, direct catches and killing, pollution and habitat degradation, the report states that noise pollution linked with underwater sonar and military maneuvers is putting at risk over 4 per cent of cetacean species.  Specifically the report calls attention to three species which it states are under serious risk from noise pollution - the Beluga whale, Blainville's beaked whale and the Goosebeak whale.

 

 

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