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Making noise in Paris!

Events - 2015-03-26 UWS Speakerspanel // woda-uwsws-speakers.jpg (270 K)The recent WODA workshop on 26 March 2015, in Paris, presented the latest knowledge on the acoustic impacts of dredging on aquatic species. Entitled ‘Underwater Sound in Relation to Dredging’ the workshop was based on the work of the two working groups that drafted the CEDA Position Paper of the same title (November 2011) and the associated WODA Technical Guidance (June 2013).

The effects of underwater sound are an important environmental issue and this is clearly reflected by policy developments in Europe and the rest of the World. Increasingly, developers and operators working in water environments are being required to consider and manage underwater sound. This was the impetus that lead CEDA and WODA to take a pro-active role in investigating the possible effects of dredging underwater.

The WODA workshop was formally opened by Jan Vandenbroeck (SDI, France), member of the CEDA Board of Directors, and Paul Scherrer, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE, France). Delegates then heard from Dr Frank Thomsen (DHI, Denmark), the Chairman of the two working groups, who set the scene for the rest of the day with a summary of the current knowledge illustrated with sound recordings.

During the well-attended one-day workshop, participants heard the latest thinking on dredging and underwater sound, from leading international experts in the field, and had a rare opportunity to discuss the ideas presented. The event was attended by more than 50 delegates representing scientists, regulators, policy-makers and practitioners working in dredging and associated fields, and from 6 different countries.


Some of those present had this to say about the event:

"It was a great pleasure and honor for France that Paris has been chosen by CEDA/WODA for this workshop with attendees and speakers from all over northern Europe and even one speaker from USA. The presentations and discussions gave a really good and complete view on the topic of underwater sound, sound propagation and possibilities of mitigation. We also know much better now how sound affect aquatic life, with some fish species mostly sensitive to particle motion and other to sound pressure, the mammals being especially sensitive to higher frequencies and therefore not so much affected by dredging sound which are mostly lower frequencies. We also got a very good overview on EU and IMO work on this topic. In short, a very dense and complete day with also many interesting discussions between the participants." Paul Scherrer, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE, France) 

International regulatory organisations such as IMO or OSPAR, which the dredging professional community must interact with (for instance through WODA), can and should play a leading role in setting research targets, interpreting information from science and field experiences, and providing the substantiation for improved future guidance.” Edward Kleverlaan, Head of the Office for LC/LP & Ocean Affairs, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), UK

The statement ‘we are lacking information’ was made more than once and it underlines the importance for broad, multi-disciplinary cooperation in research and regulatory frameworks.” Gerard van Raalte, Hydronamic, the Netherlands and Member of the WODA Expert Group Underwater Sound

It was a real pleasure doing this workshop. I was especially intrigued by the excellent questions from the audience leading to in-depth discussions on the topic!” Dr Frank Thomsen, Senior Marine Scientist, DHI Denmark, Workshop Chair and Chair of the WODA Expert Group Underwater Sound

I found it a very inspiring day in Paris. Thanks!” Rene Kolman, Secretary General, International Association of Dredging Companies, the Netherlands


To learn more please click: WODA workshop underwater sound. Those who couldn’t make the event, video recordings and copies of the workshop presentations will be available from the CEDA websitein due course.

The workshop was organised by CEDA, on behalf of WODA, and supported by Cerema (Center for expertise and engineering on risks, urban and country planning, environment and mobility), French Maritime Cluster (CMF), and the French federation of companies working in the maritime field (Tramaf).

In the photo: Workshop speakers (l-r): Stephen Robinson (NPL, UK), Christ de Jong (TNO, Netherlands), Frank Thomsen (DHI, Denmark), Douglas Clarke (HDR, USA) Edward Kleverlaan (IMO, UK), René Dekeling (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands).

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WODA technical guidance on underwater sound in relation to dredging.2684 KbDownload
Underwater sound in relation to dredging. A CEDA position paper.1890 KbDownload

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