NEPTUNES

Project NEPTUNES aims to mitigate the noise pollution from seagoing vessels by developing an universal measurement protocol, guidelines for noise labelling of vessels and a best practice guide for noise hindrance reduction measures.

Noise Exploration Program To Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing ships

Noise (annoyance) from vessels

Complaints about noise from (seagoing) vessels at berth are becoming increasingly an environmental issue.

The main causes for complaints about noise from vessels are:

  • rise of the number of residential areas built closer to ports;
  • enlargement of seaports;
  • ever-changing expectations from people living in the residential areas.

Building on sustainable port development and operation, it is necessary to investigate the origin and characteristics of the noise emitted by ships at berth and how to reduce it. Eleven ports from Europe, Australia, and Canada are jointly researching the causes and characteristics of noise generated by moored seagoing vessels and how to mitigate it.

This project mentioned by the name NEPTUNES an acronym for “Noise Exploration Program To Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing ships.”

The project started with an inventory of shipping noise exposure in each of the participating ports determining the nature and cause of the noise, the extent of the noise pollution, measures have proven useful, and which mitigation options provided by legislation and regulations.

After completing this inventory, noise experts designed an universal measurement protocol applicable for various sea-vessel types in every seaport. To classify and compare vessels based on their noise performance, the project team developed provisional guidelines for a noise label per ship using outcomes of this protocol.

Furthermore, the project team developed a Best Practice Guide with a wide variety of measures for the control of noise generated by seagoing ships at berth. The Best Practice Guide also contains interventions that stimulate and improve the understanding and awareness of noise emission from seagoing vessels.

During the entire length of the project, knowledge sharing between the participated ports, noise consultants, and other parties took place. In this way, the project team aimed to get the highest quality of the results. After developing the deliverables, it is of importance to further extend and share the knowledge and tools to increase the awareness amongst noise pollution from seagoing ships.

An essential part of the project is to gain insights concerning the production of noise from seagoing vessels so that the occurrence and sources of nuisance can be better understood. By mitigating the noise emitted by seagoing vessels, the quality of life for the residents living in and around the port will improve while the reputation of the port’s authority will be enhanced.

There are several challenges to reduce noise emitted by seagoing vessels. At the moment of starting the project, very little recorded information and standardized data regarding noise and nuisance in and around ports were available. Furthermore, no universal method to measure noise or nuisance from seagoing vessels was at hand, and no real urgency to design more quiet seagoing vessels that go further than protecting seafarers from noise while at sea.

An import part of the project will be gaining insight with respect to the production of noise from sea-going vessels, so that the occurrence and sources of hindrance can be better understood. By mitigating the noise of seagoing vessels the quality of life for the residents living in and around the port will improve while the reputation of the port authority will be positively influenced.
There are several challenges to overcome in order to lower noise pollution from sea-going vessels. At the moment there is very little recorded information and standardized data regarding noise and hindrance in and around ports. There is furthermore no universal method to measure noise or hindrance from seagoing vessels, and there is no real urgency to design quieter seagoing vessels that go further than protecting seafarers from noise whilst at sea.

The objective of this project –in the broadest sense- is to mitigate the noise from seagoing vessels at berth.

Deliverables

In order to achieve the objectives of this project, the following goals can be summarized:

  • Gaining more insight into the ship noise problems in ports collaborating in this project. Information available for Project Board members only.
  • The type of vessel and source(s) of these vessels causing the noise and nuisance perceived by residents.
  • Advance the science of measuring and quantifying ship noise, by developing a universal measurement protocol and guidelines for noise labelling of vessels.
  • Best practice guide for noise pollution and noise hindrance reduction measures.

See our full Project Board