Complaints about noise from seagoing vessels at berth are increasingly becoming an environmental issue. To achieve sustainable port development and operations there is a desire to reduce the problem of noise pollution. As this problem concerns vessels calling at different international ports, the NEPTUNES-project is initiated in order to tackle noise pollution from moored vessels in co-operation with ports from all over the world. The project is called ‘NEPTUNES’ (Noise Exploration Program To Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing ships), inspired by the god of the sea in Roman religion (‘Neptune’).

The participating ports are:

  • Port of Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Port of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Ports of Stockholm (Sweden)
  • Port of Hamburg (Germany)
  • Port of Turku (Finland)
  • Port of Copenhagen Malmö (Demark, Sweden)
  • Port of Koper (Slovenia)
  • Port of Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • Port of Cork (Ireland)
  • Port of Vancouver (Canada)
  • Port of NSW (Australia)

There are several challenges to overcome. At the moment there is very little recorded information and standardized data regarding noise and hindrance in and around ports. There is furthermore no universal method to measure noise or hindrance from seagoing vessels, and there is no real urgency to design quieter seagoing vessels that go further than protecting seafarers from noise whilst at sea.

The goals and deliverables of the project are summarized as followed:

  1. A structured insight in the scope, nature and cause of noise pollution and effective measures already implemented.
  2. An overview of laws and regulations related to noise pollution.
  3. Universal measurement protocol for the quantification of noise performance.
  4. Guidelines for the noise labelling of a vessel, based on its noise performance.
  5. Best practice guide for noise pollution and noise hindrance reduction measures, including ‘noise awareness’ methods to be employed.
  6. Roadmap implementation of measures by means of regulation and/or stimulation.