At the UK Chamber of Shipping, we understand that the impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on marine life are a growing concern.

Sound is an essential element in the lives of most marine animals, assisting in communication, reproduction, navigation, and predator avoidance. 

Although research continues to investigate the full extent of the impact of ship noise on marine ecosystems, it is clear that a proactive approach is crucial. We are therefore actively addressing this critical issue, contributing to the global efforts of minimising our industry's acoustic footprint in the oceans.

In line with our commitment, we have recently formed an Expert Working Group dedicated to this cause and are collaborating with environmental NGOs, regulatory bodies, scientists, and industry partners to reduce the impact of shipping noise and devise best practices. 

Through these partnerships, we aim to bridge knowledge gaps and facilitate progress in the UK and at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Underwater Noise and Decarbonisation


Addressing underwater noise presents a unique opportunity also to make progress in our decarbonisation efforts.

Technological advancements aimed at reducing underwater noise often have positive implications for both ship performance and reducing emissions. For example, designs that optimise the hull and propeller for quieter operation can help lead to reduced drag and better fuel efficiency.

Similarly, improving onboard machinery to be less noisy can coincide with it becoming more energy efficient. Operational measures like slower speeds and strategic routing can also help reduce noise and emissions.

Our Expert Working Group is working to identify synergies in this area, exploring with stakeholders how we can address multiple environmental challenges simultaneously to protect our seas and air.

Collaboration and International Guidelines


Recognising the need for global coordination, we support the IMO's work in this domain.

The IMO, in 2014, adopted voluntary guidelines to reduce vessel noise, focusing on measures such as propeller and hull design modifications, onboard machinery, and operational adjustments.

In 2023, the IMO approved revised guidelines that further refine these measures and introduce new best practices, reflecting the latest state of knowledge in technologies to reduce URN and reinforcing the global commitment to mitigating the environmental impact of vessel noise.