Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 10 No 1
This report investigates the differences between two sets of marine mammal noise exposure criteria in the prediction of permanent auditory injury in marine mammals: the Southall criteria, published in 2007 and the NOAA criteria (also known as the NMFS criteria), published in 2016. Both have been widely adopted in the UK and beyond, with the NOAA criteria considered as the most up-to-date scientific approach. This has created a need among regulators and their advisors for scientific advice on the quantitative differences resulting from the application of each set of criteria, and the reasons underpinning those differences in order to understand these differences in legacy assessments consented under Southall and now being re-assessed under NOAA.
Data and Resources
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UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
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Since there are differences between the criteria in both the cumulative noise exposure thresholds and the auditory weightings (which account for frequency sensitivity in marine mammal hearing), the interplay between these two factors is important.
Cefas has undertaken an analysis and modelling exercise which applied both criteria to representative noise assessment scenarios for UK waters. The aims were:
(i) investigate which set of criteria are more precautionary for each marine mammal hearing group;
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Marine Scotland Science
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