[MARMAM] New publication

Stephanie Plön, PhD stephanie.ploen at gmail.com
Wed Jul 19 22:52:22 PDT 2023

Dear MARMAMers,
On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our recent publication:

A Karomo, S Plön & P Vrancken. 2023.
“Get with the beat! The regulation of underwater noise in South Africa”.
Obiter 44: 383‒411.


Anthropogenic noise in the oceans, including from shipping and seismic
surveys, is of concern as it often adversely impacts marine life and
biodiversity. It is considered to be the number-one ocean pollutant today.
The authors review major international legal instruments regarding
underwater noise as a marine pollutant and examine them in the South
African context. The authors find, *inter alia*, that a distinction between
substance-based pollution (such as chemical pollution) and energy-based
pollution (such as noise) is currently lacking. It is also found that very
little literature is available on the impacts of shipping and seismic noise
on small fish, turtles and cetaceans, a state of affairs that calls for a
precautionary approach. It is recommended: (1) South African legal
instruments that regulate underwater noise should be revised and aligned
with international legal frameworks; (2) more scientific research should be
conducted on the cumulative impacts of shipping and seismic surveys on the
South African marine environment; and (3) the public participation process
should be effectively monitored to ensure full compliance with the
requirement to consult all affected and interested persons. Doing so would
have wider implications for developments in the western Indian Ocean region
regarding shipping, port construction and seismic explorations.

If you are interested in a copy please contact me directly at:
stephanie.ploen at gmail.com
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