This report gives an overview of the current knowledge on underwater noise emissions from Deep-Sea Mining (DSM) activities and their potential impacts on marine life. The report also summarises existing legal and policy frameworks on underwater noise including their shortcomings with respect to management of DSM activities in the Area. It concludes with recommendations on the necessary steps to fill knowledge gaps and create a solid basis for decisionmaking regarding noise from DSM activities.
Anthropogenic underwater noise is recognized by science and a wide range of international organizations as a major threat to marine life. There is solid evidence that noise emissions from vessels and active acoustic exploration (e.g. sonar and seismic surveys), which are relevant to DSM activities, have significant harmful effects on marine species. In addition, extraction (dredging, drilling, scraping), mining tool positioning (sonar), pumps (riser system), and submersibles, ROVs and AUVs (e.g. propulsion), can emit loud noise which may result in potentially significant harmful effects on marine species.