The Underwater Sound Forum (USF) Is a sub-group of the UK Government's Marine Science Co-ordination Commitee. The Forum is made up of representatives of the key stakeholders within the UK marine and maritime community (Government, academic, NGO and industry) that have an interest in how the UK manages the issue of underwater sound in the science, technology, policy and legal areas. Whilst the focus of the USF is UK-centric, the Forum recognises that the problem of underwater sound and its impact on the marine environment is international in its regulation and can be global in its impact. The USF has been in existence since 2004.



Bottlenose dolphins off Chanonry Point, Date: 09/09/2014, Chanonry Point, Moray Firth Ben James © SNH. All rights reserved. 


The USF is currently focusing its attention on the following key underwater sound topics:

  •  Guidelines for the measurement of Ambient Noise
  • The characterisation of piling noise and guidelines for its measurement
  • The characterisation of marine aggregate extraction noise and guidelines for its measurement
  • Shipping Noise
  • Investigations into the proposed EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Good Environmental Status Indicator Number 11 - Underwater Noise and other forms of Energy


Enquiries regarding the Underwater Sound Forum can be made to Abigail Marshall.


Visit the data discovery portal to access underwater sound data and information

Access to good underwater noise data is fundamental to the study of its effects in the marine environment. The following paper, which considers the current position of the management of noise data in the UK, has been produced by the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network.

 Management of Underwater Sound Data in the UK (361 KB)


See more about the USF here;