Certification for Highly Qualified MMO/PAM Operators

Considering the growing numbers of seismic operations and the potential for the future development of new projects in the ACCOBAMS area and considering the known negative impacts on cetaceans, the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat has been approached by Focal Points and Partners regarding MMO issue.

The ACCOBAMS Bureau Members, during their Ninth Meeting (Paris, 9-10 December 2014) confirmed to the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat the need of:
1/ a standardized reporting protocol,
2/ an inventory of national MMOs trainings, and of the national legislation on this issue,
3/ an ACCOBAMS certification in existing MMO training centers,
4/ a framework document on this issue, to be submitted to the MOP6 in November 2016.

In this sense, the Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS has recommended to the Parties the creation of an ACCOBAMS Highly Qualified MMO/PAM Certification.


Resolution 6.18Implementation of an ACCOBAMS Certification for Highly Qualified Marine Mammals Observers”, adopted by the Parties to ACCOBAMS in November 2016, explains the process, actors and their role with the objective of proposing a certification for the whole ACCOBAMS area (Mediterranean and Black Sea), and a standard training.


The objective of the ACCOBAMS Certification on this issue is to guarantee, throughout the Agreement area, a high quality standardized training of MMOs/PAM operators by implementing:
(1) a high quality training of MMOs/PAM operators;
(2) the standardization of training contents, regardless of the country;
(3) the standardization and quality of the data collected, which may also be made available to scientists.


A call for expertise to become an “ACCOBAMS highly qualified MMOs/PAM operator” trainer organization was launched by the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat in spring 2018. By this date, four applications were received. Since they fulfil the requirements, three ACCOBAMS Partner structures have been accredited:

Blue World Institute
Oceanomare Delphis Onlus
Marine Mammals Research Association (DMAD)

Menkab, il respiro del mare


First ACCOBAMS Training for High Quality MMO/PAM Operators

The ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat organized, thanks to a voluntary contribution from Monaco, and in collaboration with an ACCOBAMS Partner, Mare Nostrum NGO, the First training to become an ”ACCOBAMS Highly Qualified MMOs/PAM operators” from 12th to 16th September 2018 in Constanta (Romania).

Twelve participants from the 5 Black Sea Parties to ACCOBAMS were selected to be trained based on their knowledges and background.
The first 2 days were only theoretical, the following 2 days were dedicated to practical trainings at sea during 2 days on the use MMO and PAM tools. The last day was concluded by an evaluation of the 12 candidates.



ACCOBAMS Highly Qualified MMO/PAM Operators & NetCCOBAMS

In October 2018, the NetCCOBAMS workspace became effective with:

  • the newly accredited MMO/PAM operator being members of the workspace,
  • a list of the accredited trainers
  • a list of MMO/PAM Operator certified with their email address,
  • the courses
  • the forms and guide
  • events and future trainings