Project NEPTUNES aims to mitigate the noise pollution from seagoing vessels by developing an universal measurement protocol, guidelines for noise labelling of vessels and a best practice guide for noise hindrance reduction measures.

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Noise Exploration Program To Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing ships


Complaints about noise from (seagoing) vessels at berth are increasingly becoming an environmental issue. This is mainly due to the increase of the population in the residential areas around the ports, and the rise of the number of residential areas being built closer to the port itself. To achieve sustainable port development and operations there is a desire to reduce the problem of noise pollution. As this problem concerns vessels calling at different international ports, the NEPTUNES-project is initiated in order to tackle noise pollution from moored vessels in co-operation with ports from all over the world. The project is called ‘NEPTUNES’ (Noise Exploration Program To Understand Noise Emitted by Seagoing ships), inspired by the god of the sea in Roman religion (‘Neptune’).

An import part of the project will be gaining insight with respect to the production of noise from sea-going vessels, so that the occurrence and sources of hindrance can be better understood. By mitigating the noise of seagoing vessels the quality of life for the residents living in and around the port will improve while the reputation of the port authority will be positively influenced.
There are several challenges to overcome in order to lower noise pollution from sea-going vessels. At the moment there is very little recorded information and standardized data regarding noise and hindrance in and around ports. There is furthermore no universal method to measure noise or hindrance from seagoing vessels, and there is no real urgency to design quieter seagoing vessels that go further than protecting seafarers from noise whilst at sea.

The objective of this project –in the broadest sense- is to mitigate the noise from seagoing vessels at berth.


In order to reach the objective of this project. The following goals and deliverables are summarized:

  • Gaining more insight into the ship noise problems in ports collaborating in this project. Information available for Project Board members only.
  • The type of vessel and source(s) of these vessels causing the noise and nuisance perceived by residents.
  • Advance the science of measuring and quantifying ship noise, by developing a universal measurement protocol and guidelines for noise labelling of vessels.
  • Best practice guide for noise pollution and noise hindrance reduction measures.

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