BIAS is a LIFE+ project with the ultimate goal to secure that the introduction of underwater noise is at levels that do not adversely affect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. BIAS will work towards this goal by bridging the gap between the indicators of Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) descriptor 11 and actual management of human-induced underwater noise.    

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About the projectBIAS will help the Member States to establish a collaborative approach for increasing the efficiency of the implementation of the MSFD descriptor 11. Large efforts will be put into dissemination and implementation involving relevant authorities, managers, stakeholders and other relevant bodies on local, national and EU levels.

The project runs September 2012 – August 2016.ENVIRONMENTAL PROPLEM TARGETED

BIAS targets the management of human-introduced underwater noise in the Baltic region. Noise from e.g. shipping and construction of marine wind farms is currently increasing and expected to escalate. Underwater noise can travel across ocean basins and it is highly complex to measure and manage.

Marine animals use noise for communication, foraging, location of mates, avoidance of predators and navigation. They can be affected by human-induced underwater noise by physical injury or death, by masking, or by behavioural disturbance. These responses may lead to negative effects on individual as well as population level.


1. Awareness of draft Baltic Sea standards and tools for management of underwater noise
A thorough basis for standardised and appropriate management of underwater noise in the Baltic Sea

2. Demonstration of national and regional advantages of a transnational approach for management of underwater noise
A plan for cost-efficient and regionally coordinated management of underwater noise in the Baltic Sea

3. Initial assessment of underwater noise in the Baltic Sea
GIS layers serving as a thorough basis for future management decisions on human activities generating underwater noise, and for future evaluation of indicators on the environmental status of the Baltic Sea

4. Implementation of a planning tool for straightforward management of intermittent underwater noise sources
Experience and knowledge of the user-friendly BIAS tool by a national responsible authority
Example of the above demonstrated for all other EU Member States bordering the Baltic Sea

5. Establishment of draft Baltic Sea standards and tools for management of underwater noise
Draft Baltic Sea standards for recording, handling and processing data on underwater noise
Data-sharing platform containing standardised and quality assured data on underwater noise in the Baltic Sea      



Peter Sigray

Project coordinator