MMT reports growing demand for marine environmental and habitat services

8 May 2017

There is a growing demand from the renewable energy and oil and gas industry for marine mammal observer (MMO) and passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) services. Awareness of marine mammals is constantly evolving and so are the regulations concerning them and their habitats. MMT has a long history and a strong focus on environmental services, including those associated with marine mammals. They are constantly developing and educating their staff on these important fields of expertise in order to optimise their complete marine survey services and protect life beneath the ocean's surface.

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) refers to the use of underwater microphones (hydrophones) in order to detect and locate biological noise. When PAM is operated during an offshore survey, the aim is usually to detect vocalising marine mammals in order to mitigate disturbances from survey equipment on marine mammals and their environment.

Marine Mammal Observers (MMO) onboard MMT's survey vessels monitor marine mammals in the vicinity of the vessels and equipment and ensure that the survey is conducted in compliance with regulations and guidelines concerning marine mammals.

 

All MMO working on the UK Continental Shelf require education recognised by the JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee). MMT offer in-house licensed MMOs and professionally trained PAM operators on its vessels.

As the offshore renewable industry has grown in Europe so has the need of MMO and PAM operators. The fact that any detonation and piling work requires marine mammal mitigations is easy to grasp, but as the scientific communities understanding of the ecology and behaviour of marine mammals grows so does the awareness of how other sounds produced during surveys are affecting the marine environment.

To have this competence in-house ensures that the MMO/PAM requirements can be taken into account early in the project, highlighting any needs or challenges for the client.

Andrea Johansson, one of MMT's senior marine biologist, who recently finished a MMO and PAM course, comments: "To evaluate the impacts of surveys and take relatively small actions to mitigate negative impacts on marine mammals is a simple way for the industry to take responsibility for the environment, and ensure that the sea that we depend upon stay as wild and fascinating as we're used to, also in the future".

MMT´s in-house MMO and PAM operators are experienced in the type of surveys the company conducts and the equipment used on the different vessels, which ensures that the survey operations run as smoothly as possible during mitigations.

Helena Strömberg, Head of MMTs environmental department, comments: "We are aiming to maintain the high level of competence within the field of marine mammal mitigation in order to comply with nation's legislation concerning the protection of marine mammals and its environment."

MMT (UK) Ltd
2A Banbury Office Village
Noral Way
Banbury
Oxon OX16 2SB
UK
T: +44 1295 817740
F: +44 1295 259829
W: www.mmt.se

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