[MARMAM] New Ocean Science Consulting (OSC) 'Meals on Wheels' PLoS ONE paper on marine mammals & offshore Oil & Gas installations (Todd et al 2016)

Victoria Todd v.todd at oceanscienceconsulting.com
Sat Apr 16 12:11:33 PDT 2016

Dear MARMAM list subscribers,

Our new open access paper, published on 14 April, may be of interest to 
you: Todd VLG, Warley JC, Todd IB (2016) Meals on Wheels? A Decade of 
megafaunal visual and acoustic observations from offshore oil & gas rigs 
and platforms in the North and Irish Seas. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0153320. 

A decade of visual and acoustic detections of marine megafauna around 
offshore Oil & Gas (O&G) installations in the North and Irish Seas are 
presented. Marine megafauna activity was monitored visually and 
acoustically by Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) qualified and 
experienced Marine Mammal Observers (MMO) and Passive Acoustic 
Monitoring (PAM) Operators respectively, with real-time towed PAM in 
combination with industry standard software, PAMGuard. Monitoring was 
performed during routine O&G industrial operations for underwater noise 
mitigation purposes, and to ensure adherence to regulatory guidelines. 
Incidental sightings by off-effort MMOs and installation crew were also 
reported. Visual and acoustic monitoring spanned 55 non-consecutive days 
between 2004 and 2014. A total of 47 marine mammal sightings were 
recorded by MMOs on dedicated watch, and 10 incidental sightings of 
marine megafauna were reported over 10 years. Species included: harbour 
porpoise (/Phocoena phocoena/), Atlantic white-sided dolphin 
(/Lagenorhynchus acutus/), white beaked dolphin (/Lagenorhynchus 
albirostris/), common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), minke whale 
(/Balaenoptera acutorostrata/), common seal (/Phoca vitulina/), grey 
seal (/Halichoerus grypus/) and, basking shark (/Cetorhinus maximus/). 
Passive Acoustic Monitoring was conducted on two occasions in 2014; 160 
PAM hours over 12 days recorded a total of 308 individual clicks 
identified as harbour porpoises. These appear to be the first such 
acoustic detections obtained from a North Sea drilling rig whilst using 
a typically configured hydrophone array designed for towing in 
combination with real-time PAMGuard software. This study provides 
evidence that marine megafauna are present around mobile and stationary 
offshore O&G installations during routine operational activities. On 
this basis, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for decommissioning 
O&G platforms should be carried-out on a case-by-case basis, and must 
include provisions for hitherto overlooked marine megafauna.

Available to download from here - 


Dr. Victoria Todd
Managing Director
Ocean Science Consulting Ltd.

M: +44 (0)7719 489 415 (GR & UK)
T: +30 2692 041 771 (GR)
T: +44 (0)1368 865 722 (UK)
F: +44 (0)1368 865 729 (UK)
W: www.oceanscienceconsulting.gr
W: www.osc.co.uk

*MMO or PAM requirement?*
We wrote the book /www.marinemammalobserverhandbook.com/**
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