The MMOA Committee were invited along with other stakeholders and interested parties to attend the Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) workshop run by the BEIS (UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) and Joint Nature Conservation Committee JNCC. Committee members Mike Ambler, Carolyn Barton, Heather Fowle, Patrick Lyne, Ashley Noseworthy & Gary Robinson attended over the two days.
The Workshop was organised as currently there are no agreed standards or guidelines for how PAM is used as part of a mitigation programme within the UK. There is ongoing work to improve and update marine noise mitigation standards in the UK, so the JNCC has contributed to workshops run by Scripps Institute of Oceanography in the US to develop minimum standards for the use of PAM as a mitigation tool in offshore industries. The BEIS / JNCC workshop was looking to consider aspects of the work undertaken in the US for the ANSI standard (American National Standards Institute) and apply it to the UK to develop guidance to standardise deployment, effectiveness and reporting of static and towed PAM systems. Presentations were given over two days remotely over Teams looking at Pre & Post application reporting, PAM deployment and criteria for when to use PAM. Key speakers and topics included:
- Aaron Thode (Scripps): Overview of ANSI towed array passive acoustics standard.
- David Hedgeland (BP): Industry perspective and overview of relevant IOGP Sound and Marine Life projects.
- Doug Gillespie (SMRU): Overview of PAMGuard SIDE module
- Stephanie Barnicoat (Seiche): PAM deployment: issues and challenges
- Carolyn Barton: An overview of the existing use and effectiveness of PAM
Full discussions were undertaken of these topics by groups with further recommendations highlighted for future consideration and consultation.
Words by Heather Fowle