This deliverable aims to review the regulatory framework for underwater noise at different levels focusing on those which more directly may have an impact on underwater noise management in Portuguese waters. It reviews Regional Sea Conventions relevant work, European Union Directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and recommendations issued by international bodies, as for example the ones provided by the International Maritime Organization.
Most of the recommendations reviewed results from the need to protect the marine environment, recognizing underwater noise as a marine pollutant with potential to affect the marine environment. Guidelines and recommendations, although not mandatory, play an important role by providing a relevant framework on underwater noise management both on assessing impacts, and proposing noise reduction and mitigation measures.
At National level there is no specific legal framework for underwater noise management. However, this can be addressed under relevant legislation for environmental impact assessment and marine spatial planning. Raising awareness activities about impacts and monitoring can play an important role on better-informed requirements and decisions.