After another challenging year influenced by COVID-19, OSC had some great achievements including gaining accreditation as a living-wage employer, launching our new contractor database, setting up new collaborations, and expanding our offshore and research teams.

Aligning with COP26, OSC has had an influx of windfarm projects worldwide, which have required our expertise in marine mammal mitigation and underwater noise monitoring and analysis. OSC is proud to be contributing to the transition towards a greener future. These have included various stages of development of floating and pile driven turbines, as well as tidal turbines. During one of these projects, our MMOs experienced a rare sighting of the endangered Taiwanese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis taiwanensis), whose population is estimated to be less than 70 individuals. 

Kincardine floating windfarm came to completion this year, becoming operational in October 2021. Floating windfarms have many benefits, as impact to the marine environment is less than their pile-driven counterparts; however, as a relatively new development, there are still a lot of uncertainties. OSC is pleased to have been a part of mitigation requirements surrounding this project.

The Baltic Pipe Project is another example where our training, personnel, and equipment helped in the process to get the job done. Requiring use of our MMOs and pingers working in concert.

OSC has also been contracted by a tidal turbine manufacturer to assist with development of environmental monitoring procedures, and subsequent data analysis and reporting. This is a very exciting project for OSC and has strengthened our collaboration with academic partners.

2021 was another big year for OSC with five publications in various peer-reviewed journals, with two more currently in press. Topics range from Cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features at the Kerguelen Plateau to Prediction of marine mammal auditory-impact from Acoustic Deterrent Devices used in Scottish aquaculture, and a second instalment of Characterising the second wave of fish and invertebrate colonisation and production potential of an offshore petroleum platform. Please click here to investigate our range of publications.

Members of our team presented at a range of virtual events during 2021, including presenting Prediction of marine mammal auditory impact at the Symposium on High Underwater Sounds from Humans (SHUSH), and presenting an introduction on basking shark behaviour, distribution, and identification in the Hebrides for marine conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) in their winter talk series.

OSC expanded its training wing, now providing regular training for Protected Species Observers (PSO) alongside our JNCC-accredited Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) course and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) training courses. Upcoming training dates for any of these courses can be found online here

2022 is already looking busy with exciting projects and developments lined up, including the refit of our research vessel Thor of Valhalla. Keep an eye out for our blogs following its progress.
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