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).
Because of the experience gained in the field, Oceanomare Delphis has been recognized by ACCOBAMS as an accredited institution for training and issuing the ACCOBAMS certification.Training courses are held in cooperation with CIBRA (Interdisciplinary Centre for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research).
The Marine Mammal Observer and PAM operators are skilled professionals and experts in marine mammal and acoustic signals produced by these species, responsible for 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 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, on behalf of the Department of Environmental Biology at La Sapienza University of Rome, ODO conducted monitoring activities as part of the Costa Concordia wreck removal program at Giglio Island. ODO was responsible for cetacean monitoring and acoustic impact assessment, thanks to its qualified and JNCC-certified staff and equipment for PAM (Passive Acoustic Monitoring) and MMO (Marine Mammal Observer) activities.
In 2014, we were commissioned by CNR ISMAr in Ancona to participate in the cetacean and noise impact monitoring program during the construction of the ENI Offshore platforms, Fauzia and Elettra, in the Adriatic Sea.
Since 2015, we have established an ongoing collaboration with CIBRA. Through this partnership, we have developed marine mammal monitoring and mitigation plans (NorthernPetroleum, Spectrum Geo, Geplan, Energean) and conducted at-sea sampling and reporting concerning the submitted plans (NorthernPetroleum, Energean).
ACCOBAMS Certification for Highly Qualified MMO/PAM Operators sets a standard of legitimacy and credibility for training courses with international recognition.
The training ensures the opportunity for rigorous and structured collection of new scientific data, which are then archived and made public through ACCOBAMS, thus enabling us to deepen our understanding of the impact of anthropogenic underwater noise on the marine environment and providing guidance for future action.
Our association, which organized MMO training courses for the first time in Italy, now offers a specialized service with extensive theoretical lectures by experienced teachers, professional PAM equipment, and a platform adapted to deep-sea navigation for practice at sea.