MMO and PAM
Marine Mammal Observer
Passive Acoustic Monitoring
Considering the growing numbers of anthropogenic activities that generate underwater noise (coastal and offshore activities, drilling operations, geophysical surveys, naval exercises, marine traffic) and knowing their negative impacts on cetaceans, ACCOBAMS developed a Certification for High Qualified MMO/PAM (Marine Mammal Observers/Passive Acoustic Monitoring) Operators within the Agreement area (Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and contiguous Atlantic area).
For the experience gained in the field, Oceanomare Delphis has been recognized by ACCOBAMS as an accredited body for the training and issuance of ACCOBAMS certification. The ACCOBAMS training courses are organized in collaboration with CIBRA (Interdisciplinary Centre for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research).
The Marine Mammal Observer and PAM operators are skilled professionals experts in the recognition of marine mammal and acoustic signals produced by these species, responsible for the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures to protect animals during offshore activities that generate noise or disturbance.
The primary role of an MMO/PAM operator is to collect data on the presence of cetaceans in the work area, throughout the duration of the work, using visual and acoustic techniques (using hydrophones) and to implement real-time mitigation measures of potential noise impacts (or disturbance in general) on the present species.
From 2012 to 2016, upon the appointment by the Department of Environmental Biology of La Sapienza University in Rome, ODO has been conducting monitoring activities within the program of the removal of Costa Concordia relict in the Giglio Island. ODO was in charge of all aspects connected to cetaceans and acoustic impact, thanks to its qualified staff and equipment for PAM and MMO activities.
In 2014, ODO was appointed by CNR ISMAr in Ancona to participate in the monitoring program for cetaceans and acoustic impact during the building of ENI Offshore platforms Fauzia and Elettra in the Adriatic Sea.
Since 2015 Oceanomare Delphis and CIBRA have established a continuous collaboration through which they have developed marine mammals’ monitoring and mitigation plans (Northern Petroleum, Spectrum Geo, Geplan, Energean) and carried out sampling at sea and reporting concerning the submitted plans (Northern Petroleum, Energean).
The ACCOBAMS Certification for High Qualified MMO/PAM Operators establishes a standard of legitimacy and credibility for training courses with international recognition.
The training will guarantee the opportunity of a rigorous and structured gathering of new scientific data while ACCOBAMS will store and make public through a dedicated database the MMO/PAM report and data, allowing deepening our knowledge of the impact of the anthropogenic underwater noise on the marine environment and providing guidance to future actions.
Our association, which organized for the first time in Italy the MMO training courses, now offers a specialized service, with extensive theoretical lessons by experienced teachers, professional PAM equipment, and a platform suitable for offshore navigation for practice at sea.