During the past two years, the AWI prepared a comprehensive, strategic assessment of the risk posed to marine mammals by the use of airguns for scientific, geophysical research in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica [Boebel et al., 2009]. This strategic risk assessment focuses not only on a single activity (e.g. a specific expedition) as a risk assessment would, but more generally considers the use of research air-guns in this region’s typical environmental context, which show little variation from year to year. The study aims at distinguishing between aspects of analysis (based on scientific knowledge and numerical calculations) and evaluation (based on a set of risk criteria and associated thresholds). The term assess-ment is used to describe the overall process, involving both analysis and evaluation.