THE acoustic ecology INSTITUTE
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For immediate release
March 15, 2010
AEI releases 4th annual review of ocean noise
science, policy, and legal developments
The Acoustic Ecology Institute has published Ocean Noise 2009, the fourth in its annual
series of reports reviewing new research and regulatory developments in ocean noise.
AEI’s annual recaps are widely anticipated and circulated among ocean noise scientists
and regulators, as well as within NGO and journalist communities.
This year’s report includes coverage of two ongoing issues, seismic surveys and Naval
active sonars, with particular focus on the Navy’s continuing roll-out of Environmental
Impact Statements for its offshore training ranges and the targeting of Columbia
University’s seismic research vessel by environmental activists.
This year’s report introduces a new feature that will be of special interest to journalists:
AEI Resource Collections on two topics that will be central to ocean acoustics policy
and research in the coming years.
The first focuses on shipping noise; over the past five years, regulators and the shipping
industry have taken important steps toward addressing the fact that large ships
introduce more sound energy into the ocean than any other human activity. In 2009, the
International Maritime Organization began working toward instituting voluntary ship
quieting measures, with the goal of actually reversing a five-decades-long trend of
increasing background noise in the oceans.
The second introduces the exciting new field of passive acoustic monitoring, with brief
descriptions of many new recording platforms being used in the seas, including “pop-
up” recorders and undersea gliders that can listen for months at a time, “acoustic tags”
attached to whales to record their calls and human noise around them while also
tracking their dive patterns, and elaborate new Ocean Observatories permanently
installed on the seafloor.
The report also includes lay summaries of key new research studies published in 2009,
and a look ahead at key issues likely to be of interest in 2010.
To read the table of contents and introduction, and download the full Ocean Noise 2009
report, see http://AcousticEcology.org/spotlight_oceannoise2009.html
To stay current on ocean noise news and science, along with other sound-related
environmental issues including wind farm noise, visit or subscribe to an RSS feed from
For more information, contact Jim Cummings at email@example.com