Silent Ocean Programme


© Oceancare

OceanCare’s long-term objective is to achieve a measurable reduction in the level of ocean noise caused by shipping and its negative impact on marine life.

Tens of thousands of large vessels, including bulk carriers, oil and chemical tankers, cargo and containerships, Ro-Ro and other Ferries, navigate through the world’s oceans. The ecological footprint of shipping is significant. It is the main emitter of continuous ocean noise. It’s also responsible for almost 3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as air pollutants. Additionally, in some parts of the world, ship strikes (collisions between a vessel and a marine animal) have become the main threat for specific endangered whale populations.

OceanCare works towards reducing the ecological footprint of shipping, in particular ocean noise emissions and collisions with marine megafauna, as well as promoting the multi-environmental benefits of vessel speed reduction.

Reducing vessel speed is the most effective measure to reduce ocean noise emissions. If the global fleet reduced its current average speed by 10 percent, we would have 40 percent less noise emissions, 13 percent less GHG-emissions, and the collision risk with whales would be reduced by 50 percent. Slowing down would also result in a decrease of other air pollutants, such as sulphur oxides (Sox), nitrogen oxides (Nox) and black carbon.

Since 2002, OceanCare has been addressing the problem of underwater noise, within international conservation bodies. As noise is a worldwide problem, global solutions are needed, which can only be achieved with perseverance and skilful negotiations.

With support from the Levine Family Foundation, we are campaigning for the worldwide regulation and reduction of underwater noise. We aim to hold polluters accountable, to ensure that sensitive marine areas are acoustically protected. Within the framework of the UN 2030 Agenda, OceanCare is helping to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water. In 2011, OceanCare was granted Special Consultative Status on marine issues by the UN Economic and Social Council.

© Oceancare