Gardline Environmental Ltd’s Marine Mammal Observer training course for New Zealand waters, Pro-MMO NZ, has been approved by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC).
This is the first course of its kind that completely meets the requirements of the curriculum outlined in the Department of Conservation’s ‘2013 Code of Conduct for Minimising Acoustic Disturbance to Marine Mammals from Seismic Survey Operations’.
This dedicated training programme is devoted to producing competent, professional marine mammal observers, capable of implementing the requirements of the Code, in terms of mitigation as well as scientific data collection, during seismic operations within New Zealand waters.
Marine Wildlife Department Business Manager Nick Robinson said: “We are extremely pleased that the DOC has recognized the hours of hard work that our team have put in to collating all the necessary material to support this course. We are confident this DOC approved, high quality training course will be well received within the industry and scientific and local communities.”
The course is designed to be of benefit to both experienced and inexperienced MMOs and consists of theoretical distance learning and practical field based components. Candidates who successfully complete this course will be certified as ‘trained’ observers as per standards in the Code. After gaining a minimum of 12 weeks of experience working on seismic surveys in New Zealand, trained observers will then advance to the status of ‘qualified’ observers.
Gardline’s Marine Wildlife Department combined their extensive experience of seismic surveys, previous training expertise and marine mammal science knowledge, to create a comprehensive course with a well-designed content, which has been met with approval from the Director-General of the DOC.
Gardline has an experienced team of in-house, full-time Marine Wildlife Observers and is currently training all of their Observers for future surveys in New Zealand.
Press Release, December 17, 2013; Image: Wikimedia