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Marine Mammal Observer Training Course

Ocean Science Consulting and Marine Mammal Observers

Under the ‘2013 Code of Conduct for Minimising Acoustic Distribution to Marine Mammals from Seismic Survey Operations’ (the Code), a candidate is able to become a ‘trained’ observer (either Marine Mammal Observer [MMO] or Passive Acoustic Monitoring [PAM]), if they have ‘successfully completed the respective MMO course or PAM Operator course recognised by the Director-General as being consistent with DOC standards’ (DOC, 2013).

In order to train and assess candidates seeking to become a DOC approved MMO and PAM Operator under the Code, Ocean Science Consulting (OSC) Ltd (www.osc.co.uk) and OSC NZ (Asia-Pacific) Ltd (www.osc-nz.co.nz) provide both theoretical and practical training, including both practical and written assessment, as outlined in the Code. OSC’s courses are fully classroom and field-based, giving students more hands-on training and practice. The classroom environment also gives students on-the-spot practical help and allows for a more adaptable curriculum based on individual needs.

Courses are offered for either experienced MMOs and PAM Operators (those with at least 12 weeks of relevant seismic experience), or those new to the field. OSC’s MMO courses are run in conjunction with our PAM courses (www.passiveacousticmonitoringtraining.co.nz), giving students a much sought after dual qualification.

For more information please contact our course coordinator at courses@osc-nz.co.nz


Since 2004, OSC has supplied MMO and PAM services worldwide, including New Zealand. OSC’s experience of working with guidelines in the field for various industries has given the company and its staff an in-depth knowledge of guideline interpretation and application in the real world.

OSC has launched ‘The Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Handbook’ (Todd et al., 2015), which is intended to address MMO and PAM standards across all marine industries, worldwide, by educating all stakeholders about best theory and practice. The Handbook will be available from all mainstream book retailers (e.g. Amazon) and from the publisher directly: www.pelagicpublishing.com. The Handbook serves as primary reference material for OSC’s training courses. Further details on the Handbook are available at: www.marinemammalobserverhandbook.com & www.marinemammalobserverhandbook.co.uk


DOC (2013): 2013 Code of conduct for minimising acoustic disturbance to marine mammals from seismic survey
operations. Publishing Team, Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 36.
Todd, VLG, Todd, IB, Gardiner, JC, and Morrin, ECN (2015): Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic
Monitoring Handbook. Pelagic Publishing Ltd, UK. In press.