The European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims to achieve good environmental status (GES) in European seas by 2020. One of the features of GES is that underwater sound should not adversely affect the marine environment. Direct injury of marine life may occur, but a more pervasive effect is likely to be through the cumulative indirect effects on behavior. Assessing the significance of these effects on an ecosystem scale is difficult. If subsequent management of these effects is required, complex and challenging international decisions will be required.