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Research Project

MELO Project: Smart, adaptive solutions to underwater noise


In this project, you’ll learn about

  • The progress being made to address the impacts of underwater radiated noise from ships on marine mammals
  • An academic research project, the MELO Project, led by a project team at the University of British Columbia and Clear Seas
  • How artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied in naval architecture to design ships that act as a sympathetic part of the ocean environment
  • Workshops, publications, and other activities related to the MELO Project

Project summary

Underwater noise from shipping vessels poses a serious threat to both the marine environment and the marine mammals that rely on sound to survive and thrive. In response, a project developed by Clear Seas and funded by Transport Canada’s Quiet Vessel Initiative and Mitacs’ Accelerate Program brings together a research team of engineers and marine biologists at the University of British Columbia to solve this serious problem by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. The multi-year project is led by Dr. Rajeev Jaiman and Dr. Jasmin Jelovica from UBC’s Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering program, in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Trites and Dr. David Rosen from the UBC Marine Mammal Research unit. Lead researcher Dr. Jaiman says he named the research project “MELO” as a play on words; the project will “create a more MELOdious ocean soundscape based on an improved understanding of the sensitivity of the marine environment.” Using an adaptive physics-based machine learning framework, this project will develop and test a noise prediction toolkit on board a Canadian Coast Guard research vessel. The toolkit will allow ships to tune and adjust their noise in real-time and based on knowledge of nearby marine mammals. It will also lead to the creation of a software simulation of smart adaptive noise mitigation in action and demonstrate its application to all types of vessels.

Project benefits

  • Gain a holistic understanding of the challenges of reducing underwater radiated noise, and promote collaboration across disciplines to address these issues
  • Develop innovative technologies that can be applied to reduce the environmental impacts of the shipping industry

Project outputs


MELO Project Design Workshop

In June 2023, the MELO Project team hosted a two-day design workshop at UBC to convene experts to share knowledge on and develop solutions to the impact of underwater noise on marine mammals.

Visit the event page

Read the event’s report

Research in the Making

A Day in the Life on a Canadian Coast Guard Research Vessel

In August 2023, the MELO Project team boarded the Canadian Coast Guard research vessel, the Sir John Franklin, to gather acoustic data in the Salish Sea. Interested in what life is like on a research vessel? Read the blog on the research team’s time at sea here.


Underwater Noise

Visit Clear Seas’ microsite on underwater noise

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