Reduced sea ice has made the Arctic Ocean more accessible for vessel traffic. In turn, the heightened interest to better understand rapidly changing sea ice dynamics, ecosystems, and related ocean processes in the Arctic Ocean has led to closer interactions with and the need to avoid potential conflicts between scientific researchers and Indigenous coastal communities. In particular, researchers need to minimize spatial and temporal overlap of science activities with subsistence hunts as the Arctic is essential to Indigenous communities for their food security and cultural heritage. In this regard, a Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedure (CECSOP) was recently developed for the R/V Sikuliaq, which is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and is part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System. The CECSOP was developed with input and guidance from Alaska Indigenous community groups, state and federal agencies, and sea-going scientists. Here the document's basic principles and procedures are described, as well as its utility in helping guide constructive discussions and interactions between scientific users of R/V Sikuliaq and subsistence hunting communities when research and subsistence hunt activities have spatial and temporal overlap. The CECSOP is a “living” document and subject to future modifications and improvements. It may serve as a model for other scientific, commercial and industrial vessel operators to ensure best practices between subsistence hunting communities and vessel operators in the Arctic.
Vessel Traffic and Tracking, Shipping, and Ports
As the Arctic warms and sea ice decreases, increased shipping will lead to higher ambient noise levels in the Arctic Ocean. Arctic marine mammals are vulnerable to increased noise because they use sound to survive and likely evolved in a relatively quiet soundscape. We model vessel noise propagation in the proposed western Canadian Arctic shipping corridor in order to examine impacts on marine mammals and marine protected areas (MPAs). Our model predicts that loud vessels are audible underwater when > 100 km away, could affect marine mammal behaviour when within 2 km for icebreakers vessels, and as far as 52 km for tankers. This vessel noise could have substantial impacts on marine mammals during migration and in MPAs. We suggest that locating the corridor farther north, use of marine mammal observers on vessels, and the reduction of vessel speed would help to reduce this impact.
Climate changes projected for 2100 and beyond could result in a worldwide race for adaptation resources on a scale never seen before. This paper describes a model for estimating the cost and materials of elevating coastal seaport infrastructure in the United States to prevent damage from sea level rise associated with climate change. This study pilots the use of a generic port model (GenPort) as a basis from which to estimate regional materials and monetary demands, resulting in projections that would be infeasible to calculate on an individual port-by-port basis. We estimate the combined cost of adding two meters of additional fill material to elevate the working surface and then reconstructing the generic port. We use the resulting unit area cost to develop an estimate to elevate and retrofit 100 major United States commercial coastal ports. A total of $57 billion to $78 billion (2012 US dollars) and 704 million cubic meters of fill would be required to elevate the 100 ports by two meters and to reconstruct associated infrastructure. This estimation method and the results serve as a thought exercise to provoke considerations of the cumulative monetary and material demands of widespread adaptations of seaport infrastructure. The model can be adapted for use in multiple infrastructure sectors and coastal managers can use the outlined considerations as a basis for individual port adaptation strategy assessments.
Using twelve years of high resolution global lightning stroke data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), we show that lightning density is enhanced by up to a factor of two directly over shipping lanes in the northeastern Indian Ocean and the South China Sea as compared to adjacent areas with similar climatological characteristics. The lightning enhancement is most prominent during the convectively active season, November-April for the Indian Ocean and April-December in the South China Sea, and has been detectable from at least 2005 to the present. We hypothesize that emissions of aerosol particles and precursors by maritime vessel traffic lead to a microphysical enhancement of convection and storm electrification in the region of the shipping lanes. These persistent localized anthropogenic perturbations to otherwise clean regions are a unique opportunity to more thoroughly understand the sensitivity of maritime deep convection and lightning to aerosol particles.
The management of underwater noise within the European Union's waters is a significant component (Descriptor 11) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The indicator related to continuous noise, is the noise levels in two one-third octave bands centered at 63 Hz and 125 Hz. This paper presents an analysis of underwater noise in the Celtic Sea, a heavy shipping area which also hosts the seasonal Ushant thermal front. In addition to the MSFD recommended frequency bands, the analysis was extended to lower and upper frequency bands. Temporal and spatial variations as well as the influence of the properties of the water column on the noise levels were assessed. The noise levels in the area had a high dynamic range and generally exceeded 100 dB re 1 μPa. Finally, the results highlighted that oceanic mooring must be designed to minimize the pseudo-noise and consider the water column physical properties.
Mortality from collisions with vessels is one of the main human causes of death for large whales. Ship strikes are rarely witnessed and the distribution of strike risk and estimates of mortality remain uncertain at best. We estimated ship strike mortality for blue humpback and fin whales in U.S. West Coast waters using a novel application of a naval encounter model. Mortality estimates from the model were far higher than current minimum estimates derived from stranding records and are closer to extrapolations adjusted for detection probabilities of dead whales. Our most conservative model estimated mortality to be 7.8x, 2.0x and 2.7x the U.S. recommended limit for blue, humpback and fin whales, respectively, suggesting that death from vessel collisions may be a significant impediment to population growth and recovery. Comparing across the study area, the majority of strike mortality occurs in waters off California, from Bodega Bay south and tends to be concentrated in a band approximately 24 Nm (44.5 km) offshore and in designated shipping lanes leading to and from major ports. While some mortality risk exists across nearly all West Coast waters, 74%, 82% and 65% of blue, humpback and fin whale mortality, respectively, occurs in just 10% of the study area, suggesting conservation efforts can be very effective if focused in these waters. Risk is highest in the shipping lanes off San Francisco and Long Beach, but only a fraction of total estimated mortality occurs in these proportionally small areas, making any conservation efforts exclusively within these areas insufficient to address overall strike mortality. We recommend combining shipping lane modifications and re-locations, ship speed reductions and creation of ‘Areas to be Avoided’ by vessels in ecologically important locations to address this significant source of whale mortality.
Ship exhaust emissions have been considered a significant source of air pollution, with adverse impacts on the global climate and human health. China, as one of the largest shipping countries, has long been in great need of in-depth analysis of ship emissions. This study for the first time developed a comprehensive national-scale ship emission inventory with 0.005° × 0.005° resolution in China for 2014, using the bottom-up method based on Automatic Identification System (AIS) data of the full year of 2014. The emission estimation involved 166,546 unique vessels observed from over 15 billion AIS reports, covering OGVs (ocean-going vessels), CVs (coastal vessels) and RVs (river vessels). Results show that the total estimated ship emissions for China in 2014 were 1.1937 × 106 t (SO2), 2.2084 × 106 t (NOX), 1.807 × 105 t (PM10), 1.665 × 105 t (PM2.5), 1.116 × 105 t (HC), 2.419 × 105 t (CO), and 7.843 × 107 t (CO2, excluding RVs), respectively. OGVs were the main emission contributors, with proportions of 47%–74% of the emission totals for different species. Vessel type with the most emissions was container (~ 43.6%), followed by bulk carrier (~ 17.5%), oil tanker (~ 5.7%) and fishing ship (~ 4.9%). Monthly variations showed that emissions from transport vessels had a low point in February, while fishing ship presented two emission peaks in May and September. In terms of port clusters, ship emissions in BSA (Bohai Sea Area), YRD (Yangtze River Delta) and PRD (Pearl River Delta) accounted for ~ 13%, ~ 28% and ~ 17%, respectively, of the total emissions in China. On the contrast, the average emission intensities in PRD were the highest, followed by the YRD and BSA regions. The establishment of this high-spatiotemporal-resolution ship emission inventory fills the gap of national-scale ship emission inventory of China, and the corresponding ship emission characteristics are expected to provide certain reference significance for the management and control of the ship emissions.
About half of the world's oil supply, a fifth of coal supply and a tenth of natural gas supply are traded by ship. Accordingly, any significant shift in the size and shape of the global energy system has important consequences for shipping, which underpins international trade and supports economic development. The Paris Agreement requires an acceleration of the drive towards energy system decarbonisation. Yet, the International Maritime Organisation's understanding of the future is more in line with the high-carbon scenarios analysed here. This paper is a first comprehensive and global assessment of implications of fundamental changes to global and regional energy systems for international shipping, under-researched in energy scenarios consistent with deep decarbonisation. It concludes that, despite uncertainties (particularly with negative emission technologies), fossil fuel trade by the middle of the century will almost certainly be significantly lower under low-carbon than under high-carbon scenarios, and (for oil and coal) lower than in 2012. As to bioenergy and captured carbon dioxide, while their supply is expected to increase during a low-carbon transition, worldwide shipped trade in these commodities will not necessarily grow, based on the analysis in this paper. In other words, if the low-carbon futures envisioned in the Paris Agreement materialise, energy-related shipping will likely decline (by a quarter for oil and by 50% for coal in the median < 2 °C scenarios by 2050), with significant ramifications for policies and regulation in the shipping sector and international trade.
Most larger water bodies worldwide are used for navigation, and the intensity of commercial and recreational navigation is expected to further increase. Navigation profoundly affects aquatic ecosystems. To facilitate navigation, rivers are trained and developed, and the direct effects of navigation include chemical and biological impacts (e.g., inputs of toxic substances and dispersal of non-native species, respectively). Furthermore, propagating ships create hydrodynamic alterations, often simply summarized as waves. Although ship-induced waves are recognized as influential stressors, knowledge on their effects is poorly synthesized. We present here a review on the effects of ship-induced waves on the structure, function and services of aquatic ecosystems based on more than 200 peer reviewed publications and technical reports. Ship-induced waves act at multiple organizational levels and different spatial and temporal scales. All the abiotic and biotic components of aquatic ecosystems are affected, from the sediment and nutrient budget to the planktonic, benthic and fish communities. We highlight how the effects of ship-induced waves cascade through ecosystems and how different effects interact and feed back into the ecosystem finally leading to altered ecosystem services and human health effects. Based on this synthesis of wave effects, we discuss strategies for mitigation. This may help to develop scientifically based and target-oriented management plans for navigational waters that optimize abiotic and biotic integrity and their ecosystem services and uses.
The 2010 Manila amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code (STCW) was adopted by the idea to render the profession more attractive to the seafarers, particularly to cadets. It is possible to ensure greater attraction only by providing suitable and safe working conditions on board to cadets. This study analyses occupational accidents and near misses encountered by ocean going deck cadets, who received A-II/I training, during their sea training. The aim of this study was to determine causal factors influencing work accidents and to propose several recommendations for the safety of deck cadets. A total of 857 officer candidates, who received maritime education at university level in Turkey, were interviewed. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method was used in the study to analyse the occupational accidents. As a result of this study on deck cadets, the most risky areas for work accidents were found to be the deck (39.9%), cargo areas (35.7%), areas used for manoeuvring operations (including winch areas and areas in which berthing, unberthing, and anchoring operations take place) (16.1%), and accommodation areas (8.3%). The most important root causes for occupational accidents were identified as not using personal protective equipment (24.2%), haste (22.6%), and presence in inappropriate places (13.6%). This study offers some important insight into the prevention of occupational accidents, and includes suggestions and advisory opinions of sector representatives. As a result of this study, several recommendations for the prevention of accidents are proposed.