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To date four MMOA committee members have gone through the process of professional review with Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST) and successfully achieved either chartered or registered status as marine scientists. This professional status is internationally recognised and respected within the industry and beyond. The MMOA committee has worked closely with IMarEST over the last year and as a result all MMOA members are eligible for affiliate membership with IMarEST free of charge, the first step to obtaining professional recognition.
Becoming registered or chartered as a marine scientist might be easier than you think, you may already have a lot of what the Institute is looking for in your academic background, volunteering and professional development courses in related fields. If you are interested in becoming a chartered or registered marine scientist through IMarEST or any other organization, or would like some information to see what you can do to work towards it contact us by email or on the forum and we will be happy to offer advice and guidance.


For more information on IMarEST watch this Video
Some of the benefits of IMarEST membership includes:
  • Professional qualifications - Becoming Chartered or Registered certifies your competence, allows you to use certain post-nominal titles (e.g CMarSci, RMarSci) and demonstrates commitment to continued professional development. This can lead to better career prospects and the potential for higher earnings. Click here to find out how to become Chartered
  • The Marine Professional -  Members have digital access to IMarEST's monthly magazine, The Marine Profressional.  Also sign up for the weekly newsletter. Click here to sign up for IMarEST's newsletter
  • A wealth of information -  Access IMarEST's Virtual Library, an online collection of resources available via your desktop, tablet or phone. Click here to browse the library
  • Opportunities to collaborate - Access to Nexus - IMarEST's virtual branch and online collaborative environment for connecting and working with other marine professionals. Click here to access Nexus  
  • Local and global events - With a worldwide membership of over 15,000 individuals based in 100 countries there are always activites and events to take part in. On a more global scale take the opportuntiy to network with other marine professionals and support your professional development at IMarEST Conferences, Lectures, Seminars and Training Courses.Click here to find your local IMarEST branch and Click here to view the events calendar


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We are delighted to announce that Neil Niru Dorrian has been appointed to fill the role as Chair of our association due to a vacancy left at the last AGM. We are delighted Niru has put himself forward to help drive the association forward with his strong leadership skills and connections in the industry.
Niru is a marine mammal biologist and a registered marine scientist through the IMarEST with over 12 years’ experience in marine mammal fieldwork, conservation and media. He is experienced in cetacean survey methods, including PAM and photo ID. 
The past decade has seen him work on over 40 offshore projects around the world. He is currently working as an Environmental Advisor within high profile marine protected sites and is the co-founding Director of Whalefish an international not for profit marine research and conservation organisation. 
He also has extensive experience in stranding research, rescue and rehabilitation of delphinid and pinniped species and works regularly with international stranding organisations alongside his work with the MMOA.
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We are delighted to welcome Ed Oliver as the 11th committee member to the association. We had one vacant place left and we are delighted Ed put himself forward to help drive the association forward.
Ed is a highly experienced PAM Operator and has a wealth of offshore experience in this role.  In addition to his offshore mitigation work, Ed also worked for Seiche Ltd carrying out numerous PAM installations internationally, managing remote monitoring and providing technical support. At Seiche Ed was heavily involved with the writing and delivery of PAM training courses.
Ed's strong IT skills and experience of web-based support means that he will no doubt be a valuable and active member of the committee, able to assist and trouble shoot any potential issues with the MMOA web page and other technical issues. We are happy to welcome him into the MMOA Executive Committee.

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An Open Letter To Our Members and Marine Mammal Mitigation Stakeholders


The Marine Mammal Observer Association (MMOA) have become aware that rates paid to many contractors engaged by the oil and gas industry have fallen significantly over recent months. While the MMOA recognise that this is a natural consequence of industry contraction, we are concerned that the emphasis on maintaining high environmental standards may start to decline. Regardless of rates paid the MMOA stress that it is important to ensure that:

  • Only suitably qualified, experienced and dedicated personnel should be hired as Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Operators.
  • MMO/PAM mitigation training certificates should not be the only requirement to qualify a person as a MMO or PAM Operator, in addition, appropriate field experience is required.

High industry standards in other areas of operation should be mirrored in mitigation compliance. Mitigation personnel should have experience in seismic survey methods and protected species mitigation, including Passive Acoustics Monitoring (where applicable). Employing inexperienced and unqualified personnel should only be done in a limited capacity and under supervision of experienced personnel.

In December 2015 the 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals was held in San Francisco, California. The conference was one of the largest in its 40-year history and saw over 2500 attendees from 80 countries and over 1000 presentations including talks, speed talks and over 500 posters.

Prior to the official start of the Conference two days of workshops were held including the MMOAs workshop on 'Incorporating new mitigation technologies into guidelines for seismic surveys and other underwater acoustic activities and producing performance standards', co-hosted once again with Dr. Andrew Wright from New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (with the support of Mel Cosentino from Wild Earth Foundation). This workshop followed on from the very successful workshop the MMOA and New Zealand’s DOC hosted at the 29th European Cetacean Society Conference in Malta in March 2015.

The workshop in San Francisco was attended by over 50 people representing government, industry, environmental consultants, non-profit and academia. Professional MMOs and PAM Operators were also present, including at least 7 members of the MMOA.

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