MMOA Champions Best Practices for Conservation at Stakeholder Meeting on Marine Mammal Mitigation

The MMO Association (MMOA) recently supported a stakeholder workshop hosted by EnerGeo Alliance, a global trade alliance for the energy geoscience industry. The roundtable on February 28th, convened a diverse array of stakeholders, regulators, and scientists in South Africa, alongside some of the globe's leading experts, to delve into the potential effects of sound on marine life. Represented by Alex Loureiro, Scientific Director, and Ross Compton, Director of Global Policy, EnerGeo Alliance orchestrated a platform for comprehensive discourse and collaboration on this pressing environmental issue.

The primary objective of this landmark workshop was to facilitate the exchange of knowledge concerning current research status, its relevance to South Africa's context, ongoing research requirements both locally and globally, and crucially, to encourage connections between South African stakeholders and the global scientific community.  Executive Committee member Carolyn Barton delivered the presentation titled 'Marine Mammal Mitigation: Best Practice', supported by Niru Dorrian and Ashleigh Kitchiner, alongside attendees such as Brandon Southall from UW Sound & Marine Mammals, Arthur Popper, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Maryland. Karen de Jong, Institute of Marine Research in Norway; Center of Marine Ecosystem Acoustics and Stephen Kirkman, Specialist Marine Scientist from the Department of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment, branch Oceans and Coast.

Delving into a myriad of topics ranging from regulatory mandates in South Africa to the intricate ecosystems of fishes, invertebrates, and marine mammals, the roundtable provided a holistic overview of the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in mitigating the impact of sound on marine life. The stakeholder meeting served as an invaluable platform for open dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge exchange among stakeholders from multiple disciplines. EnerGeo Alliance gathered representatives from different areas, environmental organisations, research institutions, and regulatory agencies and the MMOA supported a rich tapestry of perspectives and expertise, underpinning a robust discourse on marine fauna mitigation.

Looking ahead, the MMOA look forward to future events to sustain collaborative efforts, advance marine mammal mitigation initiatives, and promote environmental awareness. In doing so, we reaffirm our collective commitment to driving positive change for a more sustainable future for marine ecosystems.

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