SMC Adds Marine Mammal Observers to Its Services
Specialist Marine Consultants Ltd (SMC) have added environmental consultancy to their range of services by providing Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs). On two occasions, MMOs were supplied during geophysical surveys in the North Sea to minimise the potential negative impacts on marine wildlife.
MMOs are responsible for implementing mitigation measures for the protection of marine wildlife by ensuring Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) guidelines are adopted during marine operations. An MMO will ensure that a pre-deployment search is undertaken and advise the crew on actions to take if a marine mammal is sighted.
One such survey was carried out off the Northumberland coast by EDF Energy to investigate proposed cable route options for a renewable wind energy demonstrator project.
SMC MMOs utilised a bespoke database to record the survey details and marine mammal sighting data to assist in providing end of survey project reports. They are also trained to use passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) equipment.