[MARMAM] New publication: Whales, noise, and international law

Lora Reeve lreeve at hawaii.edu
Sat Oct 12 13:50:15 PDT 2013

New publication:


Lora L. Nordtvedt Reeve, *Of Whales and Ships:  Impacts on the Great Whales
of Underwater Noise Pollution from Commercial Shipping and Proposals for
Regulation under International Law*, 18 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 127 (2012).


 In the aftermath the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the sea off the
eastern coast of the United States nearly emptied of ships and,
consequently, of the underwater noise pollution the ships generate, thus
opening the opportunity for a unique scientific study of how marine mammals
are affected by the noise. By comparing the stress on North Atlantic right
whales caused by underwater noise pollution from commercial shipping before
and after September 11, scientists were able to demonstrate the significant
adverse impact of shipping noise on these critically endangered marine
mammals. The findings add to a growing body of literature that provides the
scientific basis for emerging global efforts to regulate underwater noise
pollution and manage its impact on the great whales. The International
Maritime Organization is the primary global agency with the authority to
regulate most other pollutants that are discharged from commercial vessels
and could therefore regulate underwater noise as a new category of
pollutant. Alternatively, other international treaties and regional
agreements offer persuasive authority for a new convention dedicated to
managing all types of underwater noise, including the noise from shipping
activities. Whether through a new convention or revised regulations under
the International Maritime Organization, the issue is urgent and requires
action now by the international community.

Download a pdf at
or request from the author at lorareeve at mac.com.

Lora L. Nordtvedt Reeve, J.D., M.S., M.B.A.
Independent Consultant
Ocean Law and Policy Document Preparation
Marine Environmental Impact Assessment
Hawai`i U.S.A.
+1 808 756 1877 lorareeve at mac.com
lreeve at hawaii.edu
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