Why Should Fishing Research Vessels (FRV) Be Certified? Their Technological Role in the Current Challenge to Reduce the Underwater Signature of Commercial and Navy Ships
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During the last decade, most of the maritime countries in the world have been upgrading their corresponding FRV Fleets. In most cases, these fleets are made up of old fishing vessels updated with electronic equipment and echo-sounders to develop the fishery and oceanographic tasks entrusted. The age of these vessels, their low performance in terms of the underwater acoustic signature and high level of interferences with the electronic equipment are main reasons for the renewing of the fleet.
Biological community claims and the latest public claims against the negative impacts of submarine noise pollution on marine fauna have encouraged policymakers, international organizations and country administrations to develop regulatory frameworks, resulting in a new challenge for the maritime engineering and shipbuilding. This challenge is being dealt through the knowledge gained by dynamic structural design and outfitting equipment integration on board by engineering companies such as TSI, which has been successfully applying its Noise & Vibration Control methodologies in the designing and shipbuilding of the most modern FRV.
For too long time there was no regulation of Underwater Radiated Noise, but finally ICES Report Nº 209/1995 was the most important milestone in civil shipbuilding in terms of URN introducing limits for FRVs with two objectives: (i) avoiding the disturbance of the targeted fish species to be studied as well as (ii) reducing the echosounders interferences. Until then, the reducing of the vessel noise was only important for war vessels and submarines.
As not all of the new FRV were build taking ICES 209/1995 into account, it is highly recommendable to assure that the tag of Silent Vessel is obtained by means of experimental data issued by third party and its requirements should be totally defined and transparent. Otherwise the credibility of all noise signature reduction effort would be seriously mined, what would lead to delays in solving a serious men’s health and environmental problem.
This study tries to present an overview of proper methodology, lessons learnt and recommendations to the stakeholders involved in vessel noise control.
KeywordsURN Noise Vibration Ships Design Silent
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