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Field Survey & Environmental Impact Studies in Mozambique

CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) was contracted by Anadarko Moçambique Área 1, Lda (AMA1) to conduct two field surveys and assist with the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process required under Mozambican law prior to a seismic survey in the offshore portion of Rovuma Offshore Area 1. AMA1 and its partner Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, EP (ENH) signed an Exploration and Production Concession (EPC) Contract with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique for Area 1 offshore the Rovuma block in February 2007. The purpose of CSA’s first field survey was to collect baseline information through an aerial census of marine mammals (particularly Dugong dugon) and sea turtles from nearshore areas of the Rovuma Concession Block and adjacent Parque Nacional Quirambas off northern Mozambique.

The objectives of CSA’s second survey were to identify and ground-truth coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove habitats based on their aerial and satellite imagery signature characteristics and to evaluate the present species and general health of the habitat types. CSA’s low‑altitude aerial observations of habitats were compared to available satellite imagery. Based on these remote sensing observations, CSA selected representative areas and made ground‑level site visits.

Results from both CSA field surveys were used to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). CSA prepared the Environmental Baseline sections of the EIA concerning the biological environment (i.e., fishes, sea turtles, seabirds, dugong, whales, and dolphins) and habitats (i.e., mangrove forest, seagrass beds, and coral reefs). CSA also wrote the EIA Impact Assessment Methodology section and prepared the Potential Impacts and Mitigation – Biophysical Environment section that addressed potential impacts from underwater noise to marine mammals, sea turtles, fishes, seabirds, benthic invertebrates, and human divers. Potential impacts from vessel movements, air emissions and effluent discharges, and accidental events also were identified along with appropriate mitigation methods.

In addition to the two field surveys and the EIA, CSA participated in the public scoping workshops and prepared an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the seismic survey. CSA assisted in the presentation of this EIA to the Mozambican permitting authorities and helped negotiate the final elements to be included in the EMP.

Project Location: Northern GOM

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