Gulf of Mexico PSO course

Due to Covid 19 PSO courses have been postponed until further notice. Please contact us for further details.  The information below is for reference and further information will become available when the course resumes.


This course is specifically aimed at personnel who will be acting as Protected Species Observers (PSOs) on seismic surveys in the Gulf of Mexico. The PSO course introduces the regulations that apply in the Gulf of Mexico and aims to equip PSOs with all the necessary knowledge to fulfill their role effectively. The course trains delegates in the requirements of Seismic Survey Mitigation and Protected Species Observer Protocols, including the mitigation measures, reporting requirements, and the identification of marine mammals and sea turtles.  The course content follows that laid down by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE); course materials have been reviewed by the BOEM/ BSEE and the course is accepted by them.

Who can do the course?

PSO course content

Who can do the course?

This course is for those who want to work as a PSO in the Gulf of Mexico.  There are no prerequisites for attending the course, but delegates should be aware that approval from the regulatory authorities for work as a PSO is required in addition to PSO certification. Normally to gain approval PSOs are expected to have successfully attained a bachelorís degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the natural sciences, a minimum of 30 semester hours or equivalent in the biological sciences, and at least one undergraduate course in maths or statistics. The educational requirements may be waived if the PSO has acquired the relevant skills through alternate experience, but this is at the discretion of NMFS.

The course is presented in English, so delegates should have sufficient understanding of the English language to follow the presentation and complete the practice examples.

Please note that to work as an PSO offshore you will need appropriate offshore survival and medical fitness certificates.

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PSO course content

The PSO course syllabus includes the elements required under the Seismic Survey Mitigation and Protected Species Observer Protocols

Due to Covid 19 all PSO courses have been postponed until further notice.  The course content will be updated when the course becomes available again.



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BOEM/ BSEE accepted PSO course

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Site last updated 08/06/22

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JNCC MMO course

28 & 29 June


PSO course



Classroom courses suspended due to Covid-19 - Contact us for information regarding remote delivery.

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