The IOGP E&P Sound and Marine Life Joint Industry Programme — an international research programme to fill key data gaps
K. Bröker, K. Speirs, D. Hedgeland, G. Wolinsky, B. Gisiner, G. Adams, M. Jenkerson, J. Weissenberger and J. Campbell
Journal name: First Break
Issue: Vol 36, No 11, November 2018 pp. 61 - 63
Info: Article, PDF ( 845.37Kb )
Price: € 30
The potential impact of sound on marine life is one of the most important environmental issues faced by the oil and gas industry, which must be managed to avoid business impacts. Over recent years, there has been an expansion in regulatory and societal focus regarding sound sources, species of concern and categories of impacts of marine sound. Initially, the main concern was possible injury of marine mammals thought to be caused by seismic surveys. Now, impacts of other sound sources, such as drilling, vessel movement, pile driving, etc. are considered and are increasingly regulated. Additionally, there is growing concern over potential impacts on turtles, fish, fisheries, invertebrates (e.g. lobster and scallops), and more recently even fish eggs and plankton. Marine life impacts of concern include not only injury, but also consider behavioural responses, disturbance and masking. These changes in focus areas by regulators, scientists and societal organisations increasingly outpace the best available science, often resulting in the application of the precautionary principle. Concerns over the impact of sound on marine life can impact E&P operations in different ways, e.g. closure and restrictive access to offshore areas, stakeholder concern and reputational issues, increased permitting and risk assessment requirements and operational cost. The issue and development of possible solutions was initially more complex because some impacts of sound on marine life were not sufficiently well understood. Over the years, the industry, through the academic community, has filled many data gaps and reduced the uncertainty in potential impacts. One important contributor to the science required to understand the potential impacts of sound on marine life is the E&P Sound & Marine Life Joint Industry Programme (SML JIP).