Most marine animals, including marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates, use sound for almost all aspects of their life, including reproduction, feeding, predator and hazard avoidance, communication, and navigation. In the marine environment, vision is only useful over tens of meters, whereas sound can be heard for thousands of kilometers. The potential area impacted by even one noise source can extend to millions of square kilometers. Ocean background human-caused noise levels have doubled every decade for the last several decades in some areas, mainly from commercial shipping.
So, how should a transboundary pollutant such as noise be regulated?
This chapter reviews approaches to mitigation and regulation of marine noise internationally.