To prevent conflict between fisheries and seismic data acquisition, the petroleum regulations require a fishery expert to be on board the vessel carrying out seismic surveys when this is necessary out of consideration to the fishing operations in the area.
The fishery expert plays a very important role as advisor to the management on the seismic vessels. He or she must contribute to creating understanding between the industries, as well as to a satisfactory coexistence at sea. He/she must act objectively towards the players.
On 1 June 2009, a requirement was stipulated that the fishery expert must complete a course to be able to carry out the role. It is presumed that the course participants have comprehensive knowledge regarding the fisheries activity. Candidates must, among other things, be able to document that they have been an active fisherman and/or fishery expert for at least 12 months over the last five years.
The purpose of the course is to increase expertise regarding the regulations, conflict management, reporting, notification and organisation. An introduction to survey activities is also given. The participants’ English skills will also be tested.
Six courses were held in 2009. The next course will be held when a sufficient number of people have shown interest. The introduction of a cost-sharing charge is currently under consideration.
As of today, 122 people have been approved as fishery experts.