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blue echo
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The BluEcho research project is launching to address underwater noise pollution, assessing the level of noise generated by ships and wind farms in different marine basins (the Adriatic, North and Baltic seas). The project is based on EU guidelines for defining threshold values for continuous noise produced by humans in water and aims to build upon the work of previous European projects (JOMOPANS, AQUO, SONIC, JONAS, QUIETSEAS). Taking a multidisciplinary approach, BluEcho focuses on the interaction between source, medium, and receiver rather than one-way solutions.

A specific new approach will be developed for numerically modeling propellers and wind turbine blades, as well as large-scale acoustic maps. Initially, the developed methodology will be used to accurately assess the current health status of the sea. Subsequently, researchers will focus on predicting new scenarios where mitigation measures will be adopted. The effectiveness and economic feasibility of mitigation measures (including slow down or re-routing procedures in risk areas or so-called quiet periods) will also be evaluated, and the implementation of new protected areas will be proposed. Cost-benefit assessment will be conducted considering the needs of stakeholders, both in shipping traffic and wind farms.

The project, coordinated by the University of Trieste (DIA Engineering and Architecture and DEAMS Economic, Business, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Departments), also involves the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics; Chalmers University of Technology – Gothenburg, Sweden; Institute of Marine Research – Bergen, Norway; Alfred-Wegener Institute – Bremerhaven, Germany.