CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) is committed to building local regional capabilities in Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean nations. Working with our local subsidiary CSA Ocean Sciences (Trinidad) Ltd. and Marine Ventures Inc. (MVI), CSA provided specialized Protected Species Observer (PSO) training to local Trinidadians interested in learning how to identify and record observations of marine mammals, seabirds, and turtles during offshore operations, such as seismic surveys for the oil and gas industry.
MVI’s Protected Species Program Manager, Ms. Brittiny Bennett, traveled from Stuart, Florida, to Port of Spain, Trinidad, to conduct the training course, which is compliant with current U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) requirements. Upon completion of the 2-day training course and subsequent exam, 17 participants were awarded PSO certificates.
Certified PSOs are typically needed to work on vessels and platforms when geophysical work is conducted offshore, whether required by regulations or as an international best practice. PSO responsibilities during seismic surveys include surveying a monitoring zone around all operating sound sources; clearing a safety zone prior to starting airguns; monitoring the ramp up or soft start of the seismic array; initiating delays or shutdowns of sound sources for species within a given distance; collecting data about operational activities; recording observation methodologies and conditions; and identifying marine species on standardized digital data forms.
The data collected by PSOs are compiled in a scientifically robust format for industry and/or regulatory personnel to report on species occurrences in the vicinity of geophysical surveys as well as compliance with required mitigation measures.
CSA’s standardized training provides personnel with the monitoring tools and scientific background necessary to perform these mitigation activities efficiently and effectively.