Marine Mammal/Cetacean Observers

Monitoring your environmental footprint

Many governments and local authorities now require Marine Environmentalists / Biologists to act as observers on seismic vessels operating in sensitive areas around the world.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) originally developed the 'Guidelines for the Minimisation of Acoustic Disturbance to Marine Mammals from Seismic Surveys' in response to the 'Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas' (ASCOBANS), to which the UK is a party.

These Guidelines require seismic operators to watch for marine mammals and follow a soft start procedure before each seismic line. Observation effort, marine mammal sightings and details of seismic operations are all recorded by the Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) and returned to the JNCC at the end of the survey.

MMOs may also be requested by the JNCC for operations other than seismic surveying, for example:

  • Site surveys or other investigations using airgun arrays
  • Decommissioning or other marine operations using explosives
  • Other operations in sensitive areas e.g. dumping of dredging spoil

Verif-i can offer the services of a team of qualified and experienced Marine Mammal / Cetacean Observers (MMOs) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Operators. All personnel are in possession of an up to date Offshore Safety and Survival Certificate and valid medical certificate and have a commitment to HSE performance.

Verif-i MMO and PAM Operator Services

  • Pre-survey and mobilisation meetings
  • Monitoring marine mammal presence
  • Monitoring compliance with the JNCC guidelines
  • Provision of advice on compliance with the guidelines
  • Reporting