IWDG Welcomes New Measures to Protect Deep Diving Cetaceans During Seismic Survey

8th Aug 2013

The IWDG welcomes recent measures implemented by the Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to protect deep diving cetaceans from the potential effects of seismic survey noise. The Environmental Management Plan for the 2D Seismic Survey of the Irish EEZ being conducted by ENI Ireland BV in conjunction with the Petroleum Affairs Division (PAD) includes the establishment of a Mitigation Zone along key parts of the continental shelf margin from which all seismic survey is excluded. 

The management plan was informed by two projects recently conducted by the IWDG. These projects were the recently published Atlas of the Offshore Distribution of Marine Mammals in Irish Waters (funded by the the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Marine Institute) and the Beaked Whale Passive Acsoutic Monitoring Pilot, conducted in the Rockall trough and funded by the Petroleum Affairs Division.

Both these projects identified areas of the Irish Shelf slopes as being of im[portance to deep diving cetaceans such as beaked whales, sperm whales and pilot whales.

The mitigation zones implemented during the ENI/PAD 2D survey show how data collected by the IWDG can directly contribute to cetacean conservation in Irish waters.