• Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) off South Africa

Marine mammal consultancy

Cetacean expertise

Specialising in eastern tropical Atlantic and NE Atlantic waters

Survey work

Extensive background in visual and acoustic marine mammal survey work

Written reports

High standard of consultancy report and scientific paper production

Mitigation

Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Operator





Consultancy advice to government agencies and NGOs

Expert advice and reports on a wide range of topics ranging from the potential impacts of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals (report for Whale and Dolphin Conservation) to the development of marine protected areas for cetaceans in UK waters (report for Scottish Natural Heritage).



Consultancy advice to industry

Caroline provides marine mammal advice to a range of offshore industries (primarily marine renewables and oil and gas). Some examples from recent years include:

  • Marine mammal data analysis and interpretation and subsequent production of technical reports on marine mammal distribution and abundance in offshore wind farm sites (e.g. Irish Sea Zone) and seismic prospects (e.g. in Angola), which later feed into environmental impact assessments.

  • Comprehensive literature reviews of marine mammal occurrence in particular geographic regions, as the first step of scoping reports and for inclusion in technical reports.

  • Producing marine mammal components of environmental impact assessments.

  • Production of advisory documents, such as standardised methodology protocols and mitigation reviews.

  • Development of Marine Mammal Mitigation Protocols (MMMPs) for use during offshore wind farm construction.

  • Development of dolphin photographic catalogue to establish movements of a population in relation to a proposed offshore wind farm site.



Marine mammal survey work

Collection of targeted marine mammal survey data (e.g. distribution, abundance, population movements) from a range of dedicated survey vessels for organisations including universities (and other research organisations) and environmental consultancies associated with marine renewables and construction projects. Some examples from recent years include:

  • Baseline distribution and relative abundance surveys (visual and acoustic techniques) of marine mammals in relation to projects including proposed marine renewable sites (numerous sites: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and proposed construction sites (e.g. pipeline project in Gabon).

  • Marine mammal data collection during academic research surveys, for example seal surveys on the west coast of Scotland (SMRU), marine mammal surveys in the Moray Firth (Aberdeen University) and passive acoustic monitoring surveys in the Rockall Trough (SMRU).

  • Photo-identification work, such as a project focussed on bottlenose dolphins on the east coast of Scotland (SMRU).



Seabird survey work

Qualified European Seabirds At Sea (ESAS) surveyor since 1998 (worked for three years on the JNCC’s Seabirds at Sea Team implementing ESAS methodology). In recent years, ESAS survey work has been carried out on a contractual basis for several clients as part of their programmes of baseline surveys associated with renewable projects.



Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) work related to offshore industry

Caroline is a highly experienced MMO, having worked on commercial seismic survey and military vessels since 1999, implementing regional regulatory guidelines aimed at minimising potential impacts of airgun and sonar sound on marine mammals and other marine fauna. This commercial mitigation work is provided by established seismic personnel agencies. She has been officially JNCC-Approved since 2000 and was the vice-chair of the Marine Mammal Observer Association (MMOA) from 2011 to 2013. She has carried out PAM monitoring using towed hydrophone arrays (IFAW/Ecologic and Seiche) for both academic/research and industrial clients since 1995 and holds a PAMGuard certificate. She was a member of the PAMGuard Technical Advisory Committee from 2005 to 2007.



Training

Production of custom-designed training courses (e.g. MMS-Approved MMO training course in the Gulf of Mexico), identification guides in marine mammal and sea turtle observation (e.g. for the Dutch navy and for BP in Angola) and survey methodology material (e.g. for clients operating in Guinea and Angola). Presentation of training courses to varying audiences including the general public (e.g. for the Sea Watch Foundation), volunteers (e.g. the Sail Training Association) and commercial crew members (e.g. to perform mitigation duties on drill ships in UK waters).



Whale and dolphin watching

Caroline is available for whale and dolphin ecotourism guiding work worldwide, sharing her knowledge of species identification and natural history. She is available for customised guiding work for individuals or groups. Please contact her to discuss your requirements.