MMO/PAM ACCOBAMS School

cnr eni 011Last November, the Parties of ACCOBAMS – Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Contiguous Atlantic Area – approved an important Resolution establishing the ACCOBAMS International School for Marine Mammal Observers (MMO) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operators in the areas of the Agreement. In particular, in the recent past, the role of MMO and PAM operators have been introduced, who are experts in charge of monitoring - with visual and acoustic techniques - marine mammals in the proximity of noise sources, and activating appropriate mitigation measures in real time, when applicable.

 

The Resolution introduces a quality certification for MMO/PAM operators in the Accobams areas and establishes a school that will have the objective of defining the training contents of the courses, updating them according to new scientific findings, appointing new training providers in the different Nations, and certifying operators.

The Resolution, moreover, defines the role of MMO Working Group (WG), which is a team of international experts supervising and monitoring the training courses and the certification processes. Currently, the WG is finalising the drafting of the training contents as well as the appointment of a pool of experts supporting the WG.

Since January 2017, Oceanomare Delphis Onlus, is an active member of ACCOBAMS MMO WG, thanks to its significant experience ‘on the field’ with the noise and marine mammal monitoring projects during the Costa Concordia removal, as well as during the building of the

offshore platforms in the Adriatic Sea. In addition, Oceanomare Delphis Onlus – in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Centre of Bioacoustics and Environmental Research (CIBRA) of the University in Pavia – is active in the development of guidelines for the monitoring of noise in the Italian waters.

Next May, the ACCOBAMS MMO/PAM Certification of Quality will be officially presented to the scientific community during the proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society, in Denmark.