MMOA Professional Code of Conduct


  • Establish, uphold and encourage advances in standards of education, qualification and conduct of those who practice marine mammal observation as a profession;
  • Advance the science and practice of marine mammal observation for the public benefit;
  • Further the conservation of marine mammals and enhancement of marine biodiversity and maintenance of marine ecological processes and life support systems essential to a fully functional biosphere;
  • Further environmentally sustainable management and development.

Full Member Conduct

Full Members should:

  • do everything possible to promote the objectives of the MMOA (above);
    ensure that no action on their part is inconsistent with or harmful to the objectives of the MMOA or brings discredit to MMOA members and the wider environment profession;
  • maintain high standards of awareness of new developments in best practice and carry out professional activities, as far as possible, in accordance with sound scientific and ecologically sustainable principles;
  • discharge professional duties independently, honestly, fairly, skilfully and diligently;
  • at all times place the integrity of the natural environment and the health, safety and welfare of the human community above any commitment to sectional or private interests;
  • recognise the need to collaborate with suitably qualified persons in subject areas where the member is less experienced;
  • make their employers aware that they have subscribed to this Code of Conduct; using best endeavours to agree these as part of the terms and conditions under which MMO services are to be provided.


Members should:

  • report correctly, truthfully and clearly, identifying the validity and limitations to all information utilised in reports or advice;
  • give full and proper credit for information used and acknowledge fairly the contributions of others;
  • actively discourage misrepresentation or misuse of work the member has performed or that which was performed under the member’s direction;
  • when permissible / negotiable, make scientific data collected during the course of their professional duties available to others such as records centres;
  • avoid and discourage the dissemination of false, erroneous, biased, unwarranted or exaggerated statements concerning ecology and environmental management.


Members shall not:

  • cite membership of MMOA as a qualification, or as conferring any particular level of skill or experience beyond that which the member can personally demonstrate;
  • represent themselves as speaking or acting with the authority of the MMOA unless they have been expressly authorised to do so;
  • solicit or accept financial inducement, favours or preferential treatment that might affect the discharge of their professional duties.

If the member provides, and is personally responsible for, professional environmental management advice*, the member is expected to:

  • be personally accountable for the validity of all data collected, analyses performed, or plans developed by the member;
  • have made best endeavours to become a Full Member of a relevant professional Institute** for environmental practitioners; and / or accord fully with Full Membership standards of a relevant professional Institute including but not limited to, minimum professional experience, Continued Professional Development and the need to maintain current Professional Indemnity insurance.

*This particularly applies to company directors, sole-traders, heads of department and anyone else who is acting on their own discretion.
**Such as IEEM (UK), EIANZ (Australia & New Zealand), EFAEP (Europe), IEP-SL (Sri Lanka), IPEP (US) etc.

About the Marine Mammal Observer Association (MMOA)

mmoa footer logoThe Marine Mammal Observer Association (MMOA) is a membership based association with the aim of bringing together and representing individuals who work commercially and professionally as Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Operators who implement mitigation measures to protect marine life during industry operations. The MMOA also provides information to other individuals that have an interest in MMO issues.