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Research at St Andrews

Environmental Risk Management Capability: Advice on Minimising the Impact of Both Sonar and Seismic Offshore Operations on Marine Mammals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution



There is growing concern about the effect of noise pollution from Offshore Operations on whales, dolphins, porpoises and
other marine fauna both in the scientific and political communities. The general public, media and key decision makers are
becoming more aware of the potential impact of such operations and this is increasing the pressure on organisations to
manage their acoustic impact on the marine environment.
The Environmental Risk Management Capability (ERMC - a software package developed by BAE Systems in collaboration
with the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling
(CREEM) at the University of St Andrews) is the first system to provide a quantitative, robust and repeatable risk assessment
method of the potential impact of sonar on both human divers and marine fauna. To assist in the effective management of this
impact, ERMC can provide the user with recommendations of potential mitigation measures, and more importantly supports
a basis from which the user can continue to use active sonar whilst complying with their operating policies and legislative
obligations to protect the environment.
This paper will discuss how ERMC can be employed to provide a risk assessment for both sonar and seismic offshore
operations which introduce sound into the marine environment. It will also discuss whether such an approach would provide
a more flexible and reliable outcome to methods commonly in use today.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOffshore Europe Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings : 8-11 September 2009, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center UK, Aberdeen UK
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-55563-261-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event2009 SPE Offshore Europe Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sep 2009 → …


Conference2009 SPE Offshore Europe Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period8/09/09 → …

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ID: 26097809