Jomopans: monitoring ambient noise in the North Sea

The aim of the Joint Monitoring Programme for Ambient Noise in the North Sea project (Jomopans) was to develop a framework for a fully operational joint monitoring programme for ambient sound in the North Sea.

Keeping a close eye on the well-being of marine animals

Noise can be heard underwater everywhere, at all times. Waves, weather and animals, as well as shipping and construction, all produce sound. Yet, the noise from the latter sources can potentially have negative effects on vulnerable marine animals. The countries of the North Sea Region were concerned about this and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires the countries involved to address the issue collectively.

Jomopans adopted an innovative combination of computational modelling and state-of-the-art measurements at sea to implement a joint monitoring programme for ambient noise in the North Sea. It studied the effectiveness of various options for reducing the environmental effects through coordinated control measures for the entire North Sea Region.

The project produced the tools necessary for managers, planners and other stakeholders to incorporate the effects of ambient noise in their assessment of the environmental status of the North Sea. Additionally, the programme enabled the development of measures to improve the environment.

The Jomopans project officially finished on 30 June 2022.


All countries bordering the North Sea are committed to working together in an on-going effort to monitor underwater noise. The methods can be characterised as ‘best practice’ for all European waters. All knowledge and experience from Jomopans is now being used to embed the method in the procedures for the MSFD. Rijkswaterstaat will continue to contribute to an effective transnational approach to underwater noise.

Project period


European programme

Interreg North Sea Region VB


Centre for Environment Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, TNO, Aarhus University, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Marine Scotland, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, National Physical Laboratory and Institute of Marine Research

Project website