IAGC Issues New Towed Passive Acoustic Monitoring Guidance for Geophysical
Operations to Further Protect Marine Animals
HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 02/03/14 -- The International
Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) has released new
Guidance on the Use of Towed Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) during
geophysical operations. IAGC has taken steps to inform the
geophysical industry and has developed recommended guidance for PAM
use and reporting.
As part of the efforts to minimize the very low potential impact on
the marine environment, the geophysical industry takes a variety of
measures for purposes of monitoring and mitigation. When used in the
most optimized way, PAM can be an effective measure to detect marine
mammals near seismic vessels.
PAM employs the use of a hydrophone array pulled behind a seismic
vessel to detect the presence of vocalizing marine mammals, and
software technology that allows the data to be analyzed as it is
collected. In addition to visual observers, PAM can be a useful
monitoring tool, particularly during low or impaired surface
The IAGC Guidance on the Use of Towed Passive Acoustic Monitoring
during Geophysical Operations was developed to maximize the
operational performance of PAM systems during geophysical surveys. It
was prepared by IAGC member company volunteers, using their
experience and expertise to provide the industry with useful
information for implementing PAM systems.
Chip Gill, IAGC President, said, "The new Guidance is another
demonstration of the industry's efforts to further enhance the
capabilities of PAM systems. We also support the use of the PAMGuard
software for consistency within the industry. The geophysical
industry is committed to conducting our operations in an
environmentally responsible manner."
IAGC has been an early supporter of complementary monitoring
techniques to visual observations, such as PAM. IAGC recommends that
PAM operators be trained and that minimum requirements for PAM
equipment (including capabilities of software and hardware) should be
As a member of the International Association Oil & Gas Producers
(OGP) E&P Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Program (JIP), IAGC
has supported research projects to improve the capabilities
systems, including the development of PAMGuard. PAMGuard is a
software package developed by the JIP for use on PAM systems.
PAMGuard software is free and open to use. More information on
PAMGuard and the free software can be found HERE. Other JIP projects
supported by IAGC can be found HERE.
IAGC is the international trade association representing
the industry that provides geophysical services (geophysical data
acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data
processing and interpretation, and associated service and product
providers) to the oil and gas industry.
More information on IAGC and the geophysical industry can be found at
http://www.iagc.org and http://geophysicsrocks.com
For reference material on Marine Mammal Protection, see
For a video overview of marine seismic operations, see
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