The UK Marine Noise Registry (MNR) has recently undergone an upgrade. The new tool makes it easier to submit and obtain data on activities resulting in impulsive underwater noise in UK seas, such as seismic surveys, sub-bottom profiling, impact pile driving, explosive detonations, military sonar, acoustic deterrent devices, and multibeam echo-sounders. As a result, the MNR can now even better fulfil its role in helping to monitor and manage underwater noise in UK waters.
The upgrade, sponsored by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), has several new functions, including the ability to view and download tables and maps. It also means that the MNR is now fully in line with the government’s open data policy.
The MNR includes two prototype tools to help with planning and managing activities in order to reduce underwater noise:
- the disturbance tool, which enables users to assess the noise disturbance that could potentially result from human activities within Special Areas of Conservation for harbour porpoise; and
- the cooperation tool, which enables users to communicate with each other to coordinate their activities to ensure advised noise limits are not exceeded.
The MNR has been hosted and maintained by JNCC since 2015, on behalf of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the UK devolved administrations. It monitors the spatio-temporal distribution of loud, low and mid frequency impulsive sound sources introduced into the marine environment through human activities, as a commitment made in the UK Marine Strategy, which states that such impulsive sounds should be managed to the extent that they do not have adverse effects on marine ecosystems and animals at the population level.
The data collated through the MNR can be used in a variety of ways, including for regulatory and academic purposes. For example, MNR data are used every six years for the UK Marine Strategy Assessment of Good Environmental Status of the UK seas.
For further information visit the MNR webpage.
Please note that this is a Beta release. We welcome and encourage any feedback to feed into further developments and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the upgraded MNR.