Shipping is a diverse industry that connects the world. The distribution and intensity of commercial shipping is increasing and there is a growing need to assess and mitigate the impacts of vessel activities on the marine environment.
Cumulative effects assessment is needed to address the sheer volume and frequency of vessel movements, the interaction and summation of multiple impact pathways, and effects which overlap spatially and manifest through time. Areas of enhanced protection, vulnerable ecosystems, and areas of emerging shipping interest, such as the Arctic, are of particular interest.
Methods for holistic management are urgently needed to balance the benefits of industry with environmental impacts. Commercial shipping activities can have transboundary impacts and successful mitigation efforts require coordination and collaboration between trade partners, governments, industry bodies, scientists, non-governmental organizations, and international treaty organizations.
Topics addressed by the working group include reviews of knowledge on shipping interactions with the environment and trends in current and future global shipping activity. The group will synthesize scientific progress in addressing single stressors, such as underwater noise and ship strikes, and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies in reducing environmental impacts. Holistic methods for understanding and assessing risk of shipping and its cumulative effects will be evaluated.