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US officials praise Sound & Marine Life JIP leadership

US Marine Mammal Commission Executive Director Timothy Regan has thanked the Joint Industry Programme (JIP) on E&P sound and marine life for “…its leadership in addressing research priorities…”

In a letter dated 8th June, he further noted that the JIP had “… contributed significantly towards research to understand the sources, effects and mitigation of underwater sound…” and strongly encouraged the JIP to enter a third phase of collaborative research efforts.

Sound and Marine Life JIP Chair Paul Shone of Chevron responded to the letter by saying “… to receive such a letter signed by an Executive Director of a [US] federal body is a big complement to everyone who has worked on this project over the past 8 years.”

The letter came after the JIP’s second major programme review, held in Dulles, Washington DC. The review brought together the majority of principal investigators on the range of contracts that had been commissioned by the programme. Representatives of regulatory agencies in the USA, Brazil and Europe attended, along with delegates from the NGO community, JIP participants and members of the programme’s external advisory panel.

The meeting provided a unique opportunity to review many of the contracted studies that had not been completed at the time of the last review in 2008. It also demonstrated that the JIP has made substantial progress against the 30+ key questions that the programme was originally designed to answer.

Equally important was the opportunity provided by the review to listen to the concerns currently facing regulatory agencies. There were also informal discussions on the prospect of further research addressing the un-answered questions and highlighting new areas of concern.