One of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is ‘Life Below the Water' and to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Marine biodiversity is an important factor to be addressed to conserve significant number of sensitive marine flora and fauna, which are of national and international importance.
The marine traffic study, including impact on biodiversity is performed to provide assurance that the design minimizes as far as practical, environmental impacts throughout all phases of a Project. This includes ensuring all environmental impacts are identified, managed and controlled as appropriate to regulatory and industry standards.
The main objective is to:
- Avoid and/ or mitigate negative Impacts to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services;
- Work with other stakeholders to maintain ecosystems;
- Respect the basic concept of protected areas;
The study intends to:
- Assess & quantify the marine traffic density and depict it on field map
- Assess risk from marine traffic on marine mega fauna (collision accidents)
- Assess the probability of strike
- Environmental impacts of maritime transport
- Vessel speed restrictions
- Ship strike mitigation
- Assess marine traffic requirements in the context of IMO
- To evaluate the existing and future planned/proposed marine traffic environment.
- To assess the impact on marine traffic arising from Project activity associated with the construction and operation.
- To ascertain the associated risk levels at all stages of the Project, and
- To recommend mitigation measures to reduce the marine risks (e.g. collision, grounding, mechanical failure, man overboard, typhoon, fire, oil pollution, etc.) to acceptable levels.
The marine traffic assessment shall obtain the existing traffic and marine mammal passage (using GIS and seasonal information) from the secondary data such as EIA and regional marine habitat and previous studies conducted in the project area. As a part of the study the following are some of the items that would be elaborated:
- the environmental requirements to comply with when developing the Project;
- that all necessary environmental permits and authorisation processes have been identified;
- the impact related to energy a natural resources consumption;
- the impact linked to continuous or discontinuous discharges into air and water
- the impact related to biodiversity / habitat interactions / disturbances, if any;
- the waste management and disposal;
- the management of environmental emergencies (spills into water/air/);
- the impact linked to plant / project malfunction
The Marine Traffic Impact Assessment Study shall be carried out with reference to the Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) methodology adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a structured approach to the assessment of marine risks, and the effectiveness of control mechanisms.