Marine Mammal Observer Programmes

There is growing concern that man-made noise disturbance during offshore seismic exploration may have an affect on marine life, in particular marine mammals and turtles. It is therefore compulsory that a seismic survey vessel be accompanied by at least one marine mammal observer. The role of the marine mammal observer is to monitor the surrounding area, using either visual and/or passive acoustic monitoring methods, and to act immediately to protect species of concern. The observers will advise personnel onboard to delay or shutdown operations until the animals are at a safe distance and also to record behaviour and sightings at other times. Visual monitoring is conducted using a pair of binoculars whereas passive acoustic monitoring is conducted by deploying hydrophone cables and monitoring in-coming signals with specially designed acoustic software (e.g. PAMGUARD). PAM and MMO approaches  are often used simultaneously to provide better coverage.

   

Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs)

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Operators

Fisheries Liaison Officers (FLOs)