Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) has undertaken underwater sound measurements since 2007. This involvement is part of a multi-disciplinary ongoing monitoring program in relation to the effect on marine biota of the development of wind farms off the Belgian coast. At the same time, ‘in-house’ competencies were developed in the field of underwater sound, from instrument deployment, data treatment to scientific publication. Today RBINS is leader in that field for Belgium.

Belgium must fulfill MSFD and RBINS has a legal obligation for the implementation of MSFD & OSPAR monitoring. Participation to JOMOPANS will enable the definition of a baseline for the monitoring of ambient sound using an internationally agreed approach. The GES management tool that will be delivered at the end of the project should inform decision makers on their choices for sustainable management of the Belgian North Sea.

During the last 10 years, ODNature’s Marine Ecology and Management Section has actively participated in several EU-financed projects, e.g. Towards a Joint Monitoring Programme for the North Sea and Celtic Sea (DG Environment), Monitoring and Evaluating Spatially Managed Areas (FP7), AQUACROSS (H2020), Marine Conservation (CA), European Marine Biodiversity Observation Sites (CA), Environmental Impacts of Noise, Vibrations and Electromagnetic Emissions from Marine Renewables (DG Research).

Establishing a single permanent measurement point inside the Belgian zone of the North Sea.The method and measurement features will be unified within the consortium.Treating the data on a unified way within the consortium and comparing the results of the data acquisition with the results of the modeling that should be applied for the entire zone covered by the consortium. We will also participate in the development of the GES management tool that is a major deliverable of the project.