CSA Ocean Sciences Trinidad Ltd. Recruits & Trains Protected Species Observers for Offshore Seismic Surveys

  • Written by CSA Ocean Sciences
  • Published in Blog

Protected Species Observers (PSOs), previously known as Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs), are individuals trained in standard mitigation practices and visual identification of birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals in nearshore and offshore marine environments. PSOs are a crucial component of many marine operations and are required for all seismic surveys.

CSA Ocean Sciences Trinidad Ltd. (CSATL) specializes in training and providing PSO personnel for offshore geophysical survey mitigation in the Caribbean and South America, particularly for the oil and gas industry. The PSO training and certification program is compliant with current requirements of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement. These best practices and requirements from the U.S. can be applied internationally and adapted with job-specific and region-specific details.

CSATL and its sister company CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (based in Stuart, Florida) are international leaders in the training of technical personnel to support industry exploration and construction programs while meeting regulatory requirements. Leveraging decades of experience conducting offshore projects in the U.S. and internationally, the PSO training program provides the operational and biological preparation to personnel deployed in support of a wide range of offshore needs. While international regulations vary and individual projects may use a range of specialized monitoring and mitigation methods, most seismic operations require several key mitigation protocols for protected species that include, at a minimum, a specified monitoring zone, a pre-shooting watch, ramp up or soft start monitoring, delays or shutdowns of sound sources for species within a given distance, and standardized recording and reporting. PSOs emerging from the training program are qualified for and capable of supporting the wide variety of offshore programs that require monitoring and protection of marine megafauna.

In June, CSATL conducted its most recent PSO training session for 12 local recruits. Led by Stephen Viada of CSA Ocean Sciences Inc., the training enables provision of certified PSOs based in Trinidad to support projects in the region. For further information on PSO training, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Stay Connected