Research group presents report on seismic surveys

Seismic surveys are used to investigate where there may be deposits of oil and gas under the seabed. Several measures have been implemented to improve the coexistence between the petroleum and fishing industries. A research group has delivered its evaluations of the status of knowledge with regard to the startle effect and other damage caused by seismic sound waves to the Directorate of Fisheries, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT).

This work is one of several measures to improve coexistence between the petroleum and fishing industries. The background for this work is that the administrative authorities have lacked advice with sufficient consensus from the responsible research community to employ the startle effect as an element in their decisions.

The research group is composed of researchers from the Norwegian Marine Research Institute, SINTEF, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen and Christian Michelsen Research.

In its report, the research group has given an account of what is known about the startle effect and other harmful effects of seismic sound waves on fish and marine mammals, defined knowledge gaps and needs for research. The report is an important contribution to the continuing process.

The report from the research group will now be passed on to the industry group, who started its work on 8 January 2009. This group is composed of representatives from the Norwegian Fishermen's Association, the Norwegian Coastal Fishermen's Association, the Trawler Association of Southern Norway, IAGC and The Norwegian Oil Industry Association. The industry group must as far as possible present a joint recommendation to the authorities.

A joint steering committee from the Directorate of Fisheries, the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will submit a joint recommendation by 1 April 2009.


  • Directorate of Fisheries:
    Gjermund Langedal – tel. +47 930 22 433
  • Norwegian Petroleum Directorate:
    Øystein Dretvik – tel. +47 51 87 63 17
  • SFT:
    Per Erik Iversen (tel. +47 22 57 34 84
  • Research group (Norwegian Marine Research Institute):
    John Dalen – tel. +47 908 37 081

Topics: Seismic