Marine Mammal Seismic Mitigation Workshop

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 standards

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 ( 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:

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