Operational Environmental Issues

Ocean use, whether economical or recreational, is increasing rapidly and along with it the potential for challenging environmental impacts. Such challenges are often cross sectoral and therefore create opportunities for synergies and economies of scale for the Ocean Business Community. The WOC’s cross-sectoral ocean industry leadership alliance provides the ideal forum and platform to address shared operational environmental issues affecting ocean sustainable development, science, stewardship of the seas and the Ocean Business Community.


The WOC monitors present and emerging Operational Environmental Issues for its Members and the broader Ocean Business Community. Increased ocean use has led to the emergence of cross-sectoral operational environmental challenges to the diverse Ocean Business Community. In particular sound in the marine environment, port reception facilities, biofouling and marine invasive species and ship strikes of marine mammals are affecting the ocean sustainable development, science and stewardship of the seas and the Ocean Business Community.

Three issues have emerged as the immediate operational environmental priorities from among WOC Members:

  • Marine sound (MS),
  • Port reception facilities (PRF)
  • Biofouling and marine invasive species.
    Considering the breadth of our network and Membership base you may have identified additional Operational Environmental Issues, which you wish the WOC to monitor and report on. Please contact us here with your suggestion.


The WOC is fostering collaboration among its Members to develop cross-sectoral collaboration in developing science and research programs to facilitate cost-effective solutions to the shared challenges of Operational Environmental Issues. Through its Operational Environmental Issues program, the WOC is working to ensure collaboration among Members and the Ocean Business Community to develop cross-sectoral collaboration in addressing these shared challenges.

In particular, the WOC is working towards the following results:

  • An international agenda and priorities for science and applied research on priority issues.
  • Collaborative, efficient research and development of solutions to address shared marine environmental problems through partnerships, consortia, “Joint Industry Projects” or “Public-Private Partnerships”.
  • The development of practical, cost-effective solutions to priority shared marine environmental problems, based on good science.

The WOC is providing a growing level of information and presence for its Members and the Ocean Business Community on key Operational Environmental Issues. The WOC is working with its Members to identify, develop and implement best practices in addressing these Operational Environmental Issues. Future projects may include the development a common international agenda and priorities for science and applied research that includes input from government and academic researchers to engage government agencies and inter-governmental organizations in solutions to advance shared, cost-effective efforts in tackling shared problems.

Relevant Events

The WOC also sponsored the following events on Operational Environmental issues:

  • 2016 – Sustainable Ocean Summit , Rotterdam, Netherlands
    – Sessions on “Reducing CO2 Emissions: Affordable, Scalable Solutions for Maritime Industries”; “Marine Environmental Impacts from Vessels: Avoiding and Reducing Ocean Inputs and
    Impacts”; “Plastics and Marine Debris”

  • 2015 – Sustainable Ocean Summit , Singapore
    – Sessions on “Bio fouling and Invasive Species”; “Marine Debris/Port Facilities”
  • 2013 – Sustainable Ocean Summit, Washington DC, USA
    – Sessions on “Sound and the Marine Environment”; “Port Waste Reception Facilities and Responsible Cargo Management”; “Bio fouling and invasive species”,
  • 2010 – Sustainable Ocean Summit, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    – Sessions on “Bio security and Invasive species”; “Ocean Industries and Marine Mammal Interactions”