Introduction

One of the primary objectives of the Code is to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge on the physical and behavioural impacts of seismic surveys on marine mammals through improved, standardised observation and reporting.

In order to achieve this, the Code features specific standards for required competencies of Marine Mammal Observers (MMO) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operators. Also, in conjunction with professional observers, the Department of Conservation has developed a high-level curriculum for observer training courses and established a process to recognise observer training courses that are consistent with the standards articulated in the Code.

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operator scanning for vocalising cetaceans using hydrophone arrays. Image: Blue Planet Marine
Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) operator scanning for vocalising cetaceans using hydrophone arrays

Only suitably trained, qualified and experienced MMO & PAM operators may be engaged for observational duties on marine seismic surveys in accordance with the Code. However, in recognition of potential resourcing constraints that these new requirements may cause, there are a number of interim measures which provide transitional arrangements for establishment of the new regime.

Since the observer standards are performance based, experienced observers that have the requisite skills can demonstrate competency through assessment (for example, a recognised examination process at a training provider) without necessarily completing additional training.

Training providers

Established training providers wishing to offer observer training courses and competency assessment for the purposes of the Code need to include the subjects outlined in the following high-level curriculum as a minimum.

Training providers are encouraged to develop appropriate training courses according to the basic structure of the curriculum, and submit course material to the Director-General for evaluation. Any course material submitted will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be used for internal Department of Conservation review purposes by the relevant officials, who may liaise with training providers to provide feedback on areas requiring further development.

Training courses that are considered to be consistent with the standards in the Code will be recognised, and details made available on this website.

Contact

For further information on the development of observer training courses, or to submit course material for evaluation, contact marinemammals@doc.govt.nz or send in hard copy to:

The Director-General
c/o Marine Species and Threats
Department of Conservation National Office
PO Box 10 420
Wellington 6143
New Zealand

Recognised training courses

The following observer training and assessment courses have been recognised as consistent with the standards of the Code. Those interested in undertaking such training need to contact the relevant training provider directly.

DOC will not be responsible in any way for the observer training courses, nor does it accept liability for any matters arising from the conduct of such training.

Training curriculum (PDF, 51K)

Courses for experienced observers

(Note: a minimum of 12 weeks sea time as a professional seismic surveying observer anywhere in the world is required to undertake these courses. Observers who successfully complete such a course will be recognised as “qualified” under the Code if they have a minimum of 12 weeks experience in New Zealand, otherwise will be recognised as “trained”.)

Company: Blue Planet Marine
Address: PO Box 3639, Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 631 9000
Email: info@blueplanetmarine.com
Website: Blue Planet Marine
Course overview: Assessment process for experienced MMOs and PAM operators to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Company: RPS Energy, Australia Asia Pacific
Address: 38 Station Street, Subiaco WA 6008
Phone: +61 8 9211 1111
Email: Lisa.Wozniak@rpsgroup.com.au
Website: RPS Energy
Course overview:
Assessment process for experienced MMOs to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Company: Seiche Training Ltd
Address: Bradworthy Industrial Estate, Langdon Road, Holsworthy, Devon, EX22 7SF
Phone: +44 (1409) 404050
Email: training@seiche.com
Website: Seiche
Course overview: Assessment process for experienced PAM operators to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Full courses for all levels of experience

(All observers are eligible for this course, including new entrants to the industry)

Company: Blue Planet Marine
Address: PO Box 3639, Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 631 9000
Email: info@blueplanetmarine.com
Website: Blue Planet Marine 
Course overview: Assessment course for new entrants, inexperienced, or experienced MMOs to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Company: Gardline Environmental Ltd
Address: Marine Wildlife Department, Gardline Environmental Limited, Admiralty Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 3NG, UK
Phone: +44 (0) 1493 845 600
Email: marine-wildlife@gardline.co.uk
Website: Gardline Environmental  
Course overview: Assessment course for new entrants, inexperienced, or experienced MMOs and PAM operators to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Company: Ocean Science Consulting Ltd
Address: Ocean House, 4 Brewery Lane, Belhaven, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1PD, UK
Phone: +44 (0) 1368 856 722
Email: courses@osc.co.uk
Website: Ocean Science Consulting
Course overview: Assessment course for new entrants, inexperienced, or experienced MMOs and PAM operators to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Company: Ocean Science Consulting NZ (Asia-Pacific) Ltd
Address: PO Box 106767, Auckland City, 1143, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (0) 9 927 7614
Email: courses@osc-nz.co.nz
Website: Ocean Science Consulting-NZ
Course overview: Assessment course for new entrants, inexperienced, or experienced MMOs and PAM operators to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

Company: Seiche Training Ltd
Address: Bradworthy Industrial Estate, Langdon Road, Holsworthy, Devon, EX22 7SF
Phone: +44 (1409) 404 050
Email: training@seiche.com
Website: Seiche
Course overview:
Assessment process for new entrants, inexperienced, or experienced PAM operators to demonstrate competence, consistent with the 2013 seismic surveying Code of Conduct

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