Studies have indicated that commercial ships are the dominant source of underwater radiated noise in most coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere. These areas are important habitats for many marine mammals, such as baleen whales, seals and sea lions who are particularly vulnerable to impacts from incidental shipping noise because they produce and perceive low-frequency sounds for communication and feeding.
ABS issued the Guide for the Classification Notation Underwater Noise to promote an environmentally-friendly ship design and assist specific vessels with operating in a “quieter” condition aimed at reducing underwater radiated noise.
This Guide sets forth requirements for the optional underwater noise notations UWN and UWN+.
Additionally, ABS has issued Practical Considerations for Underwater Noise Control, to assist the industry in gaining a better understanding of the efforts associated with mitigating underwater noise as well as the options available.
As of January 1st, 2020, ABS vessels entering the Port of Vancouver with the ABS Underwater Radiated Noise (UWN) notation are eligible to receive a 47% reduction in fees as part of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s EcoAction Program’s gold tier. The EcoAction Program recognizes a variety of fuel, technology and environmental management options that are eligible to receive discounted harbor due rates. Learn more about the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s EcoAction Program here.