Putting the wellbeing of marine life at the forefront, the geophysical industry takes extra precautionary measures in its pursuit of industry best practices. The job of a PSO is to visually monitor the marine environment for any whales, dolphins or other sensitive marine animals. If certain marine animals are detected in the area, the entire seismic survey process is delayed or shut down until the animals have passed from the exclusion zone surrounding the vessel.
In addition to monitoring for marine mammals in the area, the PSO will record physical data of any wildlife encountered and ensure proper mitigation measures are being taken by the vessels’ crew. The PSO also works to train and educate other members aboard the seismic vessels, which often cover a wide range of nationalities and specialties, forming solid working relationships is essential. Life aboard an offshore vessel is a unique one, spending months at a time onboard. Even more unique is the role of the Protected Species Observer, who works with both the marine crew and the seismic crews to educate, monitor for animals and ensure proper safety and best practice procedures are being followed. The addition of these observers to the vessels is another unique way the geophysical industry is working to protect our incredibly important marine environment.