International harmonization of approaches to define underwater noise exposure criteria and needs of the international regulatory community
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© 2016 Acoustical Society of America.Outcomes from a 2013 international workshop focused on regulatory issues related to the effects of underwater sound on marine fauna are discussed herein, along with the results of a subsequent needs assessment of the regulatory community conducted by the Discovery of Sound in the Sea project team. Workshop topics included the regulation of anthropogenic underwater noise in individual countries and opportunities for harmonizing approaches on a regional and international scale. The workshop was intended to build momentum towards an international exchange of information and to initiate a network of marine scientists and regulators who are involved with aquatic noise issues. Central workshop goals were to assist the regulatory community by providing a forum for scientific input related to the effects of anthropogenic sound sources on marine life and to foster international understanding of current regulatory approaches. The workshop clearly indicated that regulators need reliable and understandable baseline information on cause-effect relationships and that scientifically vetted material, which could inform decisionmaking on this topic, are not readily available. Other key needs were identified, including the needs to prioritize research topics, avoid redundancy in research funding, increase efforts through international collaborations, and increase communication between the scientific and regulatory communities.
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