Extension call 12

08 April 2021 - Published by Niels Kinneging
On 19 March Jomopans submitted a proposal for an extension of the project under Call 12 of Interreg North Sea Region. The Jomopans team is very eager to extend to collaboration in the field of underwater noise. Some important topics, which were out-of-scope for Jomopans or emerged during the runtime of the project, will be addressed if the extension is granted.

Jomopans has become one of the leading international projects in the field of underwater noise today. In Jomopans a monitoring framework for underwater noise in the North Sea has been set up and
methods have been developed and tested to assess the environmental status with respect to shipping noise. At the end of Jomopans in June 2021, it is expected that these methods are accepted by
OSPAR Convention and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). As such, Jomopans has fulfilled the objectives that were described in the application.

Some new topics have emerged during the Jomopans project, for example related to the Covid-19 pandemic. These topics, together with topics to safeguard the legacy of Jomopans, will be part of an extension of Jomopans for one year. This is summarised below.

  • In 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact all over the world. At the initiative of the International Quiet Oceans Experiment (IQOE) a worldwide effort has started to evaluate the effects of the pandemic on underwater noise due to a reduced shipping activity. Jomopans will analyse these effects based on extended measurements and soundscape modelling for the periods before, during and after the pandemic. The results will be shared with the IQOE and lessons from this exceptional situation for marine management will be drawn.
  • The extended model and measurement analysis will also elaborate on aspects that were out of scope for Jomopans, in particular the extraction of statistical parameters from the measurements and the improvement of AIS (Automatic Identification System), one of the major input data sets for the modelling.
  • Jomopans has designed a joint monitoring programme in close co-operation with the stakeholders in the Policy Advisory Board. It is advised for the programme to be implemented within the working structures of OSPAR where all tasks need to be evenly spread over the North Sea countries. The implementation plan advises to have a so called transition phase for a proper handover of the Jomopans results. This proposal is laid out in an implementation plan, which is agreed by OSPAR on 18 March 2021. During the extension Jomopans will work at the request of the OSPAR EIHA committee towards a formal agreement for such an operational monitoring programme.
  • Jomopans has produced many valuable results that need to be preserved and to be made available to a large community. The measurement data will be archived and disseminated through a database at the International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES). Jomopans has contributed to the design of the database that has been commissioned by HELCOM (regional sea convention for the Baltic). The management GES Tool that was developed by Jomopans will hold all the soundscape maps made in Jomopans. This tool will be integrated in the OSPAR Data and Information Management System (ODIMS) in close co-operation with the OSPAR Secretariat. Finally Jomopans has developed a number of standard documents. These documents will be activity introduced to the ISO working group on underwater sound to the benefit of all people working in the field.

Throughout the extension year Jomopans will continue to communicate to various groups including marine managers and policy makers, scientists, NGOs for the environment and the general public. The methods developed by Jomopans are also suited for other marine regions. There is a close co-operation with the JONAS project for the Atlantic region and especially the Arctic region is an important area where shipping is expected to increase due to the melting of sea ice.

All Jomopans partners are enthousiastic for an extension of the project, but four partners were not able to secure co-funding for the extension. They agreed to continue their participation in the ongoing discussions.