By Narelle Tagged in Antarctic Treaty 875 downloads
ATCM XXVII and CEP VII 2004, Capetown, South Africa
IP078: SCAR Report on Marine Acoustic Technology and the Antarctic Environment
The sea is a naturally noisy environment but the environmental effects of noise generated specifically by human activities in the ocean have generated considerable concern in some circles. Research to clearly identify the risks, the problem and the possible management solutions has made significant progress since the last SCAR workshop and report in 2001. Additional incidents of injury to marine mammals have also taken place in various parts of the world and these provide lessons for the management of activities in the Antarctic.
To make use of the new scientific results in understanding how marine noise impacts on the Antarctic environment, SCAR sponsored a second workshop on 12–13 May 2004 at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge. The meeting addressed the question: "What major research outputs have become available since the 2001 workshop and how do they change the understanding of the risks and impacts?". The meeting undertook a structured risk evaluation of examples of scientific instruments deployed in Antarctic research programs and carried out the same process for other activities known to impact marine life to provide perspective on the particular risks posed by scientific activities. The meeting then discussed what improvements have been made in mitigation measures and their application and reviewed documents submitted since the 2001 workshop by Germany, Spain and the ASOC.
In the light of these discussions the first SCAR report will now be significantly revised but it is important to note that this workshop supported the major finding of the previous workshop that there is no new evidence that leads SCAR to the conclusion that a blanket ban on acoustic technology is warranted.
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