19th November 2019
MSeis Limited is a North Somerset based, international organisation and manufacturer of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) systems. As well as this, they offer a range of training courses on how to operate PAM equipment. The organisation also has several vessels based around the UK to hold practical, field training experiences.
The PAM system is an underwater monitoring system which is trailed off the back deck of vessels. The cable is usually around 800 ft and uses hydrophones to detect any noise created by marine mammals in the area. If marine mammals are detected, it is suggested by the operator that all disturbances terminate until the animal or pod exits the mitigation area. This is particularly important in today’s climate as sea mammals are becoming ever increasingly endangered due to pollution and climate change.
MSeis’ research and development team are currently in the final stages of completing the WISDOM buoy – a static system which allows real time monitoring of marine mammals from remote locations, as well as comprehensive data logging and sound level measurement. This is likely to be used in harbour expansion schemes and windfarms.
All equipment manufactured is used for cetacean mitigation purposes meaning any noise made by marine mammals are detected when noise disturbances such as drilling for oil are monitored. This is to ensure the marine life is unharmed during the process.
The business was the brainchild of managing director, Mark Higginbottom who started making PAM systems in his back garden shed whilst on leave from offshore. As a seismic engineer and party manager he saw a clear gap in the market for good quality acoustic monitoring systems to be used in the oil industry. Together with Technical Manager James Scott, this quickly grew to be a popular market and the company now employs 8 full time individuals as well as offering an apprenticeship scheme for local students. MSeis operate in over 50 countries and continues to endeavour to be a responsible environmental organisation.
MSeis also have a satellite office in Tampa, Florida where courses are often held due to the high demand for marine mammal detection off the Gulf of Mexico. There is also a large dolphin and whale population meaning training courses are more engaging for operators and they can put the theory of learning PAM into practice.