This Korean Cargo Ship Helps Marine Life by Creating Less Underwater Noise

This year’s Earth Day theme, “Restore Our Earth,” brings to our attention one of the most important parts of contributing to a better future for the ecosystem: emerging green technologies. Until most industries find a way to switch from outdated, harmful processes to sustainable, eco-friendly ones, all protection and conservation efforts are undermined. Green shipping is one of the emerging trends that is set to create massive positive change for marine life. 1 photoOne positive thing that everybody noticed during last year’s health crisis was how quiet everything got.

All of a sudden, people all over the world could actually hear all sorts of nature sounds.

Now, imagine what that was like at ocean level. Scientists observed an unprecedented level of silence, due to all types of shipping coming to a halt. In fact, the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE) project, which had been studying the impact of human sound on marine life since 2015, observed such profound changes during this time, that it designated 2020 “International Year of the Quiet Ocean”.

Since commercial shipping is one of the biggest factors that increase ocean noise, next to energy exploration and recreational boating, it’s vital for ship manufacturers to integrate green technologies, and the good news is that it’s actually possible to reduce ocean noise. A great example of this is the first product carrier to receive a “Silent-E” notation, which certifies that the ship does not go beyond “average to moderate” noise levels. Passenger ships have gotten this certification before, but the fact that a cargo ship received it marks a premiere in the shipping industry.

Launched by Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI), this ship is designed to comply to eco-friendly and low-noise criteria that are becoming more and more important for shipping companies worldwide. In fact, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is on its way to establishing official criteria for regulating underwater noise levels. According to HSHI, major ship-owning companies are the ones who request that shipbuilders integrate green technologies into their ships and the Korean ship manufacturer is one of those who apply environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices to their operations.

Let’s hope that the HSHI minimal-noise product carrier will be followed by many more commercial ships that support marine life.