To inform the definition and assessment of Good Environmental Status, the UK has established a UK marine noise registry (MNR) to record the occurrence of activities that produce loud, low to mid frequency underwater noise. Activities include seismic surveys, pile driving and explosives detonation. Here we present data, in the form of a series of maps, the distribution of impulsive noise in UK waters from 2015–2018. The pressure is presented in pulse block days (PBDs).
A downward trend has been observed in PBDs from 2015-2019. Seismic and sub bottom profiler surveys account for the majority of PBDs widespread across UK waters, for all years. Blocks mainly experienced between 0 and less than 5 days of noise events, however in 2018 a block experienced 144 days of noise.
MNR data is informing assessments of noise pressure both spatially and temporally, highlighting patterns and the contribution of different human activities that produce noise. Data in the registry can also be used to inform management of noise and be used as a planning or advisory tool aiding in cumulative impacts assessments on marine species.