Blog [Environment]

Focus on... An exciting job:


Do you also like looking at these marine creatures that surprise and intrigue us?
But do you know the job of observing marine mammals?

⛴️ Their mission: observe marine mammals to better protect them

Marine mammals are sensitive species, particularly to noise generated by human activities at sea. Marine mammal observers are at the heart of work operations at sea. They are the eyes and ears and evaluate the presence and behavior of marine mammals. .

They work day and night with suitable means: binoculars to observe, acoustic sensors to listen when it is dark or fog or rain prevents them from seeing. They are in direct contact with the work teams to alert in the event of abnormal behavior during the first minutes of drilling.

Being a marine mammal observer means being a sentinel for the protection of these species.

🔎 Ailes Marines called on independent onboard observers

Although there is currently no threshing (the most sensitive operations for marine mammals) as part of the work, Ailes Marines called on independent onboard observers, through its contractor Van Oord .

The role of these scientists is to observe and monitor the behavior of marine mammals , before and during the first minutes of drilling.


At the heart of the project, observers are “eyes and ears” for the benefit of all marine mammals. They watch and ensure that these species do not encounter any particular difficulties when approaching the Aeolus.

If any particular behavior was noted, drilling work would be suspended pending the mammal leaving the area.
During the first phase of drilling, between May and October 2021, observers witnessed the activities of a seal and 76 dolphins exhibiting normal behaviors (feeding, surface breathing or transit).

How to become a marine mammal observer?

One of them, given to Quebec by the ROMM, in collaboration with the School of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Quebec. Its aim is to provide knowledge on the identification and biology of marine mammals and to teach the basic notions of this work. Between theory and practice, visual observation and passive acoustics (PAM) courses, this training offers a solid basis for practicing this profession.

For more information, click here