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Informing global policies to reduce ocean noise for the benefit of marine life protection and the sustainability of global fisheries
by OceanCare (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
OceanCare is committed to ensuring that anthropogenic ocean noise is recognised and addressed within SDG14.1 as a form of marine pollution which must be reduced, and to supply relevant stakeholders with the scientific information and evidence to support policy decisions on this issue.

In many parts of the world, ocean noise, caused by the military, oil and gas industries, construction and shipping has doubled every decade for the past 60 years. This has been a life threatening trend for marine species and is an emerging threat to already depleted fish stocks. At least 51 marine species have been shown to be impacted by ocean noise pollution, including 21 species of fish.

Through the Silent Oceans campaign, and as a founding member of the International Ocean Noise Coalition (IONC), OceanCare has been working to promote actions which can be taken to prevent and reduce underwater noise since 2002, including the incorporation of management measures for underwater noise into the provisions for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

We are committed to bringing scientific evidence and information to relevant international and regional forums and to lead coordinated action between other organisations and bodies also committed to protecting oceans from the threat of ocean noise. OceanCare is committed to continuing this work and will be asking governments, fisheries bodies and the fishing industry to pay particular attention to the negative impacts that ocean noise has on fish and the sustainability of our oceans. In addition, OceanCare is engaged in capacity building and awareness raising initiatives about this threat at regional, as well as global level.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
OTHER POLLUTANTS (please specify)
  • Other (please specify): Underwater Ocean Noise
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Promoting and providing evidence of the need for provisions to be made for ocean noise pollution within Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify): Advocating for policy measures to protect fish stocks from the harmful impacts of ocean noise
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
December 2018
Develop, together with the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), and other partners of the QUIETMED, a joint programme on noise for the implementation of the second cycle of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in the Mediterranean Sea
December 2019
Gain recognition of ocean noise as a harmful form of marine pollution by the UN General Assembly and relevant UN organisations and agencies and achieve progress towards the development of a global strategy to reduce and regulate ocean noise pollution
July 2018
Achieve support from the FAOs Committee on Fisheries (COFI) that FAO should conduct a socio-economic study on the impact of underwater noise pollution on fish in collaboration with relevant partners
Staff / Technical expertise
2 Staff in headquarters, one scientist, and at least 4 part-time ocean policy consultants 1 pro bono legal ocean policy advisor
Financing (in USD)
450,500 USD
In-kind contribution
OceanCare are a founding member of the International Ocean Noise Coalition and will continue to play a facilitating and coordinating role in streamlining action on this issue and galvanising support from a network of at least 150 other organisations
Basic information
Time-frame: January 2017 - December 2020
NGO Partnerships: Members of the International Ocean Noise Coalition (IONC) IGOs:The Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Sigrid Lber, President , slueber@oceancare.org, +41 (0) 44 780 66 88
Wadenswil, Zurich, Switzerland
Other SDGs
United Nations