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Underwater noise assessment in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy) using an MSFD approach

Codarin, Antonio, Picciulin, Marta
Marine pollution bulletin 2015 v.101 no.2 pp. 694-700
European Union, acoustics, energy, international cooperation, marine environment, monitoring, seasonal variation, water pollution, Adriatic Sea, Italy
In the marine environment, underwater noise is one of the most widespread input of man-made energy. Recently, the European Commission has stressed the necessity of establishing threshold levels as a target for the descriptor 11.2.1 “Continuous low frequency sounds” in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). In 2012, a monthly underwater noise monitoring programme was conducted in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy); the collected acoustic samples (frequency range: 10–20,000Hz) were analysed in the 1/3 octave bands. The stations have been further clustered following the 63 and 125Hz bands noise levels. Average SPL levels resulted similar to those previously computed for proximate areas, indicating that the Adriatic Sea sub-region experiences high noise pressure in the marine waters. In its turn this claims for a scientific and technical international cooperation, as requested by the EU programme. No seasonal variation in local noise levels has been found.