[MARMAM] Workshop on new mitigation technologies for seismic surveys and other underwater acoustic activities at the 21st Biennial Marine Mammal Conference

Frances Robertson frances.c.robertson at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 17:45:11 PDT 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Apologies for cross posting.

We would like to inform you of the following workshop to be held at the 21st
Biennial Conference of Marine Mammals in San Francisco.
Incorporating new mitigation technologies into guidelines for seismic
surveys and other underwater acoustic activities: Producing performance

Subject: Seismic survey guidelines, mitigating acoustic exposures, new
mitigation technologies

Date/Time: Sunday, December 13, 2015; 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Organizers and contact email: Andrew Wright (anwright at doc.govt.nz) and
Frances Robertson

Cost: $80 (Early Bird); $90 (After September 15, 2015)

The aim of this workshop is to discuss ways to include the ability to
assess the viability of potential mitigation measures and new sound source
technology into seismic survey guidelines and codes of conduct for other
underwater producing activities. Current guidelines are reasonably
proscriptive in terms of requiring the use of marine mammal observers
(MMOs) and passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) at the possible expense of
other detection technologies. Similarly, the specific mention of airgun
array sizes in seismic survey guidelines may limit the commercial use of
potentially less impactful survey technologies. The need for a mechanism
for allowing the incorporation of new technologies and methodologies into
acoustic exposure guidelines is thus clear. Likewise, it seems likely that
this could be best achieved through some performance standard that any
technology could be assessed against. However, it is not clear what exactly
this performance standard should be.

One option for mitigation technologies is to use the proportion of animals
successfully detected, although this requires establishing thresholds for
correct detection, false positive and false negative rates. In contrast,
new source technologies may require the establishment of target sound
propagation levels before they can be introduced. In both cases, the extent
to which current technologies are able to meet these standards would also
need to be assessed. Accordingly, this workshop intends to explore the
various options for performance standards and discuss potential threshold
levels. Methodologies for measuring if new technologies meet any such
standards will also be discussed.

For more details and to register for this workshop please follow this link:


Best wishes,

Frances Robertson and Andrew Wright
Frances C. Robertson, PhD
*Marine Mammal Biologist*

Canada  (+1) 604 339 4967

frances.c.robertson at gmail.com
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