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Seismic surveys in Manx Waters

Marine seismic surveys for purposes such as hydrocarbon exploration, cable or pipeline operations, or other geologically-related work have the potential to adversely impact marine fauna, such as dolphins, whales and commercial fish species.

Application for seismic and geophysical surveys

An application form must be completed in order to undertake seismic surveys in Isle of Man waters.

To conduct other geophysical surveys the additional information sections in the application form must also be completed.

This process will:

  • allow developers to receive comments about the impacts of proposed seismic surveys (and other geophysical surveys) from the Isle of Man government (the licencing authority) and other stakeholders and interested parties
  • help to facilitate the wider monitoring of noise-generating activities in the marine environment

An application form must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the proposed start of any seismic survey.

Regulation and administration

The consenting process is administered by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Environment Food and Agriculture (DEFA), delegated under the Marine Infrastructure Management Act 2016 (Statutory document No. 2016/0362) and regulated under the Wildlife Act 1990 (Statutory document No. 2016/0361).

DEFA will submit the application to the Wildlife Committee, a statutory body of the Isle of Man government, which will consider the environmental aspects of proposed surveys within the territorial sea and, if appropriate, issue a licence for seismic survey with legally binding conditions.


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