Recommendations

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Category Meetingsort descending Reference Cross-reference Topic Recommendation Response Party resp. Target completion date Status Superseded by
Photo ID + Pop. A. ISRP ISRP-35 ISRP Report, p. 98 (p. 93 in the printed version of the report) Population assessment The Panel's review identified the following general areas of future research: Annual monitoring of gray whale foraging and habitat use patterns, including prey, habitats and variability in foraging patterns over space and time – the resultant time series of data may identify changes in habitat correlated with certain development activities. Sakhalin Energy is currently undertaking this work and is planning to continue this in future years. Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Photo ID + Pop. A. ISRP ISRP-35 ISRP Report, p. 98 (p. 93 in the printed version of the report) Population assessment The Panel's review identified the following general areas of future research: Annual monitoring of gray whale foraging and habitat use patterns, including prey, habitats and variability in foraging patterns over space and time – the resultant time series of data may identify changes in habitat correlated with certain development activities. Sakhalin Energy is currently undertaking this work and is planning to continue this in future years. Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Traffic & MMO A. ISRP ISRP-16 ISRP Report, p. 43 (p. 40 in the printed version of the report) Traffic & MMO The zones of sensitivity outlined in the Marine Mammal Protection Plan are mentioned but not defined in the CEA (Section 6.2.2), so the status of this proposed mitigation measure is uncertain. At the time of the CEA the development of these mitigation measures was discussed with all parties involved and was work in progress. N/A 2005-03-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-22 ISRP Report,p. 51 (p. 47 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Key Scientific Information and Gaps:Prediction of oil spill effects will be enhanced by several types of information currently not available, including: (iii) Alteration of acute toxicity patterns for spilled oil resulting from application of dispersants. There is ample evidence in the available literature on influenceof dispersants on the effects of oil on a range of marine species. Toxicity data alone does not indicate effect. This is influenced in the short-term by distribution, dilution etc and in the longer term by considering dilution, threshold effects and HC degradation. N/A End of 2005for NEBAstudy. Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-04 ISRP Report, p. 35 Continuous noise Methods to partially mitigate the effects of noise on marine mammals include: (3) removal or quieting of equipment. Sakhalin Energy is aware that noise mitigation of the source is time consuming and not always possible because of other commitments of the vessels N/A Ongoing Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Traffic & MMO A. ISRP ISRP-18 ISRP Report, p. 44 (p. 41 in the printed version of the report) Traffic & MMO Sakhalin Energy proposes to limit vessel speeds in the nearshore and offshore feeding grounds to 5 knots at night and during periods of reduced visibility, and to 7 knots during daylight with good visibility conditions. However, it is not clear how visibility is to be judged. This comment has been taken into consideration and will be updated in 2005 Marine Mammal Protection Plan. N/A 2005-04-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-26 ISRP Report,p. 55 (p. 51 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The CEA did not discuss in any detailthe relative consequences of spills associated with the alternatives, but they could be important and are considered in more detail below in section 1.3.1.1 (selection of platform location and pipeline alternatives. Spills from platforms are covered in the CEA and modelled.Excursion envelopes for blowouts will be similar. Worst case blowout volumes are relatively high and initial (0-12 hour) perimeters may be slightly different (larger) due to influence of spreading. Duration of blowout will also influence these. N/A 2005-07-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-05 ISRP Report, p. 35 Continuous noise Methods to partially mitigate the effects of noise on marine mammals include: (1) avoidance of critical habitat. Sakhalin Energy agrees that avoidance of critical habitat is an effective mitigation method. N/A 2005-04-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Traffic & MMO A. ISRP ISRP-14 ISRP Report, p. 45 (p. 41 in the printed version of the report) Traffic & MMO A possible means to minimise risk of collisions for ships departing Prigorodnoye would be to route them immediately offshore from the southwestern tip of Sakhalin and then plot the lane through La Perouse Strait equidistant from each coast to minimise the amount of time spent transiting close to shore. While this route may add a small amount of time to the total transit, it could be applied only seasonally when the whales migrate through the area. The issue is with increased ship traffic in La Perouse Strait during WGW spring and autumn migration is recognised by Sakhalin Energy. N/A 2005-03-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-32 ISRP Report,p. 62-63 (p.58 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Information is needed on the followingtopics for a comprehensive analysis of risks associated with Phase 2: (iv) a more thorough analysis of pipeline spill risk to compare the base case and Alternative 1, based on the likelihood of a spill due to pipeline length, more disturbance associated with construction and other relevant factors (e.g. bottom type) versus the chance that a spill would reach the nearshore gray whale foraging habitat. This work has been undertaken. The bottom profile wasconsidered in risk analysis. The base case is not proceeding and so no comparison is required. N/A 2005-07-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Other A. ISRP ISRP-30 ISRP Report, p. 60 (p. 56 in the printed version of the report) Sakhalin Energy work plan For the PA-B platform at the current stage, the HSE case has not yet been completed. Until this document is completed, it is not feasible to evaluate the likely effectiveness of the proposed system or to accept assurances regarding prevention and response strategies. The HSE Case for PA-B was not finalised at the time of publishing the CEA. Sakhalin Energy 2005-12-15 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Traffic & MMO A. ISRP ISRP-15 ISRP Report, p. 42 (p. 39 in the printed version of the report) Traffic & MMO Beginning in March 2005, vessel traffic in Aniva Bay will increase as vessels begin delivering supplies and equipment to Korsakov for construction of the oil and LNG terminal at Prigorodnoye. The collision risk to gray whales posed by this new traffic was not addressed with any degree of rigour in the documents received from Sakhalin Energy. Collision risk for WGW in Aniva Bay is not considered a real issue as they do not occur there. The issue is with increased ship traffic in La Perouse Strait during WGW spring and autumn migration. N/A 2005-03-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-27 ISRP Report,p. 55 (p. 50 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks As tanker-based transportation isknown to constitute a significant risk of a spill, specific information was requested on all tankers that have loaded at the Vityaz Marine terminal and those that will be used to carry oil from the Prigorodnoye export terminal. All that was provided was a list ofnames, ages and hull configurations for tankers that have loaded to date. Thus, a credible characterisation of the fleet with regard to spill risk was notpossible. Information on future vessel traffic was not available at the timeof publishing the CEA. No tankers have loaded at Prigorodnoye to date. It is unlikely that this will represent future tanker traffic at Aniva. If possible, Sakhalin Energy could try to obtain this data. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-33 ISRP Report,p. 63 (p. 58 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Information is needed on the followingtopics for a comprehensive analysis of risks associated with Phase 2: (vii) spill response plans, particularly withrespect to winter scenarios, training and‘practice’ exercises, coordination of Tiers 2 and 3 and measures to protect WGW and their habitat. OSRPs for Operations are being prepared and these aspectsare being addressed. Further expert input will be sought during the planning process. N/A Plan ready forapproval by Sept 2005. To be approved by July 2006. Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-28 ISRP Report,p. 57 (p. 52 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The CEA did not model the worst-casescenario, I.e. that of a platform blow- out, but such modelling is essential for a thorough and unbiased assessment of risk. The CEA did not model spills occurring during winter months when weather conditions may be more severe than those modelled (10-year averages for spring, summer and autumn) and when the sea may becovered with ice. Again, such modelling is essential for a thorough andunbiased assessment of risk. This comment has been taken into consideration and furtherwork will be undertaken during OSRP planning. N/A End of July2006 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-36 ISRP Report,p. 98 (p. 93 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The Panel's review identified thefollowing general areas of future research: Investigation of the ocean dynamics (currents, tides, winds) in the vicinity of Sakhalin II, the Piltun and offshore feeding habitats and Piltun Lagoon – inter alia this will allow for better modelling of the dynamics of oil spills and improved response strategies. Sakhalin Energy already records winds. DVNIGMIoceanographic data is extensive in the area and based on field surveys over decades. Sakhalin Energy OSR consider this a more than adequate basis for OSR planning needs N/A N/A Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-23 ISRP Report,p. 51 (p. 47 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Key Scientific Information and Gaps:Prediction of oil spill effects will be enhanced by several types of information currently not available, including: (vi) Potential for spill-derived contaminants to concentrate through the food chain and become detrimental to WGW health and population parameters. There is very little evidence for accumulations of these in foodchains as a result of spills and even less on the significance ofHC's that have been detected. N/A N/A. Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Traffic & MMO A. ISRP ISRP-17 ISRP Report, p. 44 (p. 41 in the printed version of the report) Traffic & MMO Observer programmes such as those proposed by Sakhalin Energy to prevent collisions with western gray whales have another important limitation, unless those observers are truly independent. Any observer working for a company that stands to lose large amounts of work time (and money) when whales are sighted is subject to a clear conflict of interest. Assuming that an observer in such circumstances will be able to maintain appropriate vigilance and judgement is more an act of faith that reason. Whether true or not, the observer may anticipate that full and accurate reporting would place his/her livelihood at risk. Thus, observer programmes require independent oversight or verification of compliance to ensure their effectiveness. Sakhalin Energy has been using MMOs successfully since 2003. During the seismic survey in 2003 eight shutdowns and 10 occurrences of preventative measures were implemented when there was reason to suspect that whales may be present. Sakhalin Energy has confidence in the integrity of the marine mammal scientist they use for the program. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation Lenders Report Issues Table 10.1
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-06 ISRP Report, p. 35 Continuous noise Bubble screens (or curtains) have been considered as means of mitigating against noise by a number of authors. The mechanism of sound propagation through bubble screens, however, is not fully understood. Bubble curtains can be effective and are worth while in considering reduction of noise, although it surely has some limitations. An overview of bubble curtains effectiveness and its limitations are given in Sakhalin Energy's Noise Mitigation Strategy document. N/A Ongoing Closed - moot
Env. monitoring A. ISRP ISRP-34 ISRP Report, p. 71 (p. 66 in the printed version of the report) Environmental monitoring The issue of artificial reef effect of the platform is not addressed in the CEA. Mitigation to prevent changes in the composition and abundance of marine organisms around the platforms is probably not feasible, but monitoring those changes may be important to future interpretations of changes in the broader Sakhalin Shelf ecosystem. Monitoring of benthos communities (pollution related and composition) is part of the permit requirements. Benthos studies in WGW feeding area are also planned for long term. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-25 ISRP Report,p. 52 (p. 47 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Key Scientific Information and Gaps:Prediction of oil spill effects will be enhanced by several types of information currently not available, including: (vii) Potential patterns of acute and chronic toxicity and health impairment of gray whale prey in the event of spillage of drilling muds, domestic sewage or other toxic pollutants from offshore drilling platforms or other categories of project infrastructure. Sakhalin Energy could possibly support a better inventory ofnon-oil spill risk –including plume distributions of non-oil losses and discharges but it needs further discussion with the Panel to determine whether this will significantly add to our knowledge. Waste management plans are in place for all platforms and vessels. N/A 2001-05-05 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Traffic & MMO A. ISRP ISRP-40 ISRP Report, p. 98 (p. 93 in the printed version of the report) Traffic & MMO The Panel's review identified the following general areas of future research: Recording and monitoring of whale/ship encounters (including strikes, near misses and safe avoidance) to determine if adjustments are needed to vessel traffic based on ship size, location, speed, daylight or other pertinent variables. Is being done under the MMO program. Special forms exist to report such incidents. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-1/026, WGWAP-3/003
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-09 ISRP Report, p. 37 Continuous noise Key requirements for an improved appraisal of the effects of noise on WGW off Sakhalin include obtaining better (quantitative where possible) information on 4. gray whale hearing abilities. The main question is not (or should not be) what gray whales hear; rather, the main question in this area is how, and in what circumstances, they are affected. There is much evidence that gray and other whales often do not react (at least overtly) to sounds that are audible as long as the sound source is not directly approaching the whale or otherwise ""threatening"". N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - moot
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-19 ISRP Report,p. 50 (p. 46 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks These [persistence time] estimatesindicate that sea surface temperature and wind speed are important determinants of persistence time, but the CEA does not give the year-round information on regional sea surface temperature and wind speed needed to predict their actual influence on persistence times of spilled oil. Provision of this data was not required given the scope of theCEA but was of course used in determining trajectories. The influence of time and energy on fate of the oil slick wasmodelled and this can be related back to the distribution of wind speeds and temperatures in the region to determine the probability of persistence. This work has no implication or use for OSR, but if deemed significant for environmental impact assessment, can be done. A reassessment of the physical character of the Phase 2 crude oil (spreading coefficients, viscosity, evaporation rates under a range of conditions, emulsification rates under realistic conditions etc) and also chemical characteristics of the crude oil and weatheredresiduals is also intended. Some laboratory weathering studies are also planned. N/A Phase 1 atend of 2005, Phase 2 at end of 2006 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-3/013
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-20 ISRP Report,p. 51 (p. 46 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The available information is notsufficient to determine persistence patterns or rule out persistence times that are sufficiently long to expose the feeding areas, whales and prey populations to oil and at least some portion of its more toxic components. Available information does not allow this to be quantified withabsolute certainty but available literature and oil characteristics do allow for a qualitative prediction. The approach taken in the CEA was conservative and trajectories used assumed persistence. N/A Phase 1 atend of 2005, Phase 2 at end of 2006 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-4/017& 6/024
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-21 ISRP Report,p. 51 (p. 47 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The CEA does not explicitly considereffects of possible emulsification processes on persistence time, and as a result may be underestimating the persistence of oil spills at sea. Underestimates of persistence time contributes to important biases in estimating both trajectories andexcursion envelopes for spilled oil. As a consequences, sizes of excursion envelopes presented in the CEA are very likely biased downwards. Vityaz crude oil can be emulsified but the emulsion is unstable.The characterisation work undertaken did not specify mixing energies used to emulsify oil. This work is being redone. However, the excursion envelopes assume persistence and so are conservative. Actual envelopes will be smaller. N/A 2031-12-05 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-4/018
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-01 ISRP Report, p. 30 Continuous noise Studies of short-term behavioural responses to underwater noise associated with aircraft, ships and seismic survey operations indicate that there is a probability of 0.5 that whales will respond to continuous broadband noise when received sound levels (RL) exceed ca. 120dB and to intermittent noise when levels exceed ca 170 dB. Sakhalin Energy notes that the criterion used (>120 dB) is based on observations of gray whale responses to industrial sounds of types not greatly different from those occurring during planned activities. It is not likely that reactions to a given received level of construction sound would be greatly different from those previously documented. However, slightly greater responsiveness to a particular received level might be predicted given that dredging and pipelaying are likely to produce tones at numerous frequencies, superimposed on the broadband sound. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-24 ISRP Report,p. 51 (p. 47 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Key Scientific Information and Gaps:Prediction of oil spill effects will be enhanced by several types of information currently not available, including: (i) Direct acute toxicity of spilled oil to prey, by prey species, (ii) Pattern of change over time in acute toxicity of oil to prey, by prey species, due to natural weathering of spilled oil, (iv) Chronic effects of spilled oil on prey health and life history, including age- specific survival threats, age-specific fecundity rates, feeding efficiency and population-level resilience to additional disturbances, both natural and anthropogenic (e.g. a second spill) and (v) Acute and chronic effects of spilled oil on prey food supply. Obtaining meaningful toxicity data on indigenous amphipodswill take a considerable time and is a complex task (RU labs to be assessed and calibrated or getting suitable test species. / individuals overseas for testing). Problems with specificity of tests, i.e. similar amphipods at similar temperatures etc need to be found. N/A N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-3/012
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-02 ISRP Report, p. 31 Continuous noise Although no hearing threshold audiograms were available, ear structure and behavioural responses to industrial noise strongly suggest that gray whales hear well in the low frequencies (<2kHz) of noise generated by ships and construction activities. Underwater noise from industrial activities can mask communication signals among whales, or other important signals that whales may obtain through listening (passively) to their environment. Masking of communication sounds is not much of a concern on the feeding grounds, where gray whales do not call much. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-41 ISRP Report, p. 115 Continuous noise After reviewing Sakhalin Energy's methods and plans for modelling noise in gray whale habitats, three areas of concern were identified: (1) measurement accuracy and reliance on noise spectra, (2) source level determinations and (3) use of a modified Range-dependent Acoustic Model (RAM). All concerns are addressed in the document ""Acoustic Model Validation"". Details of monitoring protocol are provided in ""Guidelines for measurements of Underwater Acoustic Source Levels"". These two documents address the main concerns. N/A 2005-04-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 2.1
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-29 ISRP Report,p. 59 (p. 55 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The leak detection system proposed bySakhalin Energy is capable of detecting leaks equal to 1% of the daily amountof oil transported. However, a more effective leak detection (0.4%) has been reported for the TransAlaska Pipeline System (U.S. Bureau of Land Management 2003). This system employs a combination of deviation alarms for pressure and flow rate, line volume balance leak detection, andtransient volume balance leak detection systems. This might be considered a'best practice' but the CEA does not explain why such a system (with a corresponding level of detection) is not proposed for use in Sakhalin II Phase 2. Sakhalin Energy should look at available systems as part ofinternal QA/QC to verify ALARP. N/A 2001-04-05 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-3/016
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-07 ISRP Report, p. 35 Continuous noise Scheduling activities to avoid co-occurrence with feeding gray whales and mother-cal pairs would reduce noise impacts. Considering the nature of the work complete avoidance of WGW feeding season is not possible. N/A Closed Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-08 ISRP Report, p. 35 Continuous noise The use of 'ramp-up' (also known as 'soft-start') procedures is mentioned as a potential mitigation strategy, specifically for seismic survey operations (e.g. air guns). Although this is the industry-standard mitigation measure (JNCC 2004), there is ongoing discussion about its effectiveness and the level of safety that it provides for marine mammals. Sakhalin Energy has re-evaluated the use of ""ramp-up"" or ""soft start"" procedures. These are mainly related to pulsed sounds and noise from offshore pipeline construction and platform installation is vessel related. No information exists on PTS from vessel related noise. N/A None Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-03 ISRP Report, p. 34 Continuous noise The monitoring and mitigation component of the CEA (Section 4.6.6) mentions 'establishment of ""shut-down"" criteria in the event that the real-time noise monitoring programme indicates noise levels and impacts on the whales near the Piltun feeding area that are higher than predicted, and considered unacceptable.\ However, unacceptability remains undefined. Throughout the document there is a lack of measurable criteria for action. It is thus extremely difficult to evaluate the efficacy of the monitoring and mitigation measures provided. Noise criteria in CEA are developed to predict impact. Noise criteria in the field need to be developed based on real time observations and will be different. Sakhalin Energy considers ""action criteria"" that are measurable in real time part of risk management. Evaluation of the actual impact on WGW is yet another step that requires thorough analysis of monitoring data gathered at the time of operations. The flow of information to the relevant specalists required to be involved in the decision making process is defined in the Marine Mammal Protection Plan. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation e.g. WGWAP 3/030
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-31 ISRP Report,p. 62 (p. 58 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks Information is needed on the followingtopics for a comprehensive analysis of risks associated with Phase 2: (I) Risks related to construction and operation of Prigorodnoye Oil and Gas Export Terminal. This comment has been taken into consideration and furtherwork will be undertaken. N/A 2005-07-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-4/018
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-10 ISRP Report, p. 37 Continuous noise Key requirements for an improved appraisal of the effects of noise on WGW off Sakhalin include obtaining better (quantitative where possible) information on 3. Behavioural and physiological responses of WGW to noise. Sakhalin Energy agrees that it would be good to know whether stress is an issue. However, this has not been studied or documented in any baleen whale. The western gray whale may not be the population in which one should try to develop such an innovative methodology. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-12 ISRP Report, p. 37 Continuous noise Key requirements for an improved appraisal of the effects of noise on WGW off Sakhalin include obtaining better (quantitative where possible) information on 1. Transmission of noise through WGW habitats. Sakhalin Energy has, through acoustic monitoring, sufficient information on TL characteristics in WGW habitat. A literature review study has been conducted to obtain all available information on hearing availability of WGW, EGW and other baleen species. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation Superseded by Seismic Survey Task Force work
Oil A. ISRP ISRP-37 ISRP Report,p. 98 (p. 93 in the printed version of the report) Oil spill & gas associated risks The Panel's review identified thefollowing general areas of future research: If one or more spills or releases occur, investigation of (1) any direct, acute effects of oil and gas on whales and (2) the effects of chronic exposure should spilled oil remain present for a prolonged period. Sakhalin Energy commits to undertaking monitoring in thisarea. N/A N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-3/022; 3/024; &3/026.
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-11 ISRP Report, p. 37 Continuous noise In summary, there are two critical scientific information gaps related to the noise field that western gray whales experience from multiple sources: (1) inability to accurately model and predict received levels from multiple (or single noise sources in shallow-water environments, and (2) uncertainty regarding what aspects of the noise signal (e.g. the saliency of the signal) would be disturbing to a gray whale. (1) Through the validation document of the acoustic model Sakhalin Energy believes that the modelled RL from multiple sources is accurate enough to do predictions on the RL from construction activities (2) This second concern is difficult to assess under field conditions as a lot of factors will influence the reaction of the whale. Sakhalin Energy feels that the available data on gray whale responses that come from tests with sounds similar to the construction sounds, are representative enough to do predictions on gray whale reactions. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-39 ISRP Report, p. 98 Continuous noise The Panel's review identified the following general areas of future research: Real-time monitoring of behaviour and (if possible) physiological responses by the whales during periods when levels of underwater noise increase noticeably (e.g. during construction and seismic surveys). Real time acoustic monitoring will be conducted, also acoustic monitoring for a wide range of Hz in relation with behavioural observations. Physiological responses are difficult to measure in real time under field conditions. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - superseded by a new recommendation IISG Items 58-63
Noise A. ISRP ISRP-13 ISRP Report, p. 38 Continuous noise Noise from the Sakhalin II Project may: (1) cause hearing loss (TTS or PTS) in, or mask sounds important to, gray whales, (2) cause temporary or permanent displacement of gray whales from their prime feeding habitat off Sakhalin Island, (3) cause stress to gray whales that remain in a noisy habitat in order to feed. Sakhalin Energy feels this to be unlikely; whales are not likely to enter or remain for long in an area where the sound level is so high as to cause TTS or (especially) PTS. N/A 2005-05-01 Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 3.4 N/A Continuous noise The number of WGW affected by noise may be underestimated. Assessment of the nature of effects and the number of whales affected is necessary to determine when oil and gas-related noise is unacceptable. This issue relates to the noise impact criterion ""number of whales potentially affected"", stated in the CEA. Estimates are based on a large set of data and sophisticated density calculations. These distribution data show that WGW are continuously moving within and between the feeding area. Although density calculations give a good estimate of the numbers of WGW expected in the ensonified area, it remains difficult to determine the actual numbers affected as large part of the movements is contributed to normal movement patterns. Sakhalin Energy will conduct post analysis of the data collected in the field during the 2005 construction season. Behavioural observations of individual whales will be related to received noise levels at the location where the whale was observed. The acoustic model will be used to estimate noise levels at different parts in the feeding area using actual noise level measurements from the buoys. Sakhalin Energy accepts that the issue should go to the WGWAP. Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 3.5 N/A Continuous noise Experts have questioned the utility of studies on migrating whales for protecting gray whales in their feeding grounds. They have raised concerns stemming from the nature of the noise (e.g. continuous versus pulsed or transient). They also have raised questions about the mechanism forSakhalin Energy’s approach is consistent with that used by Malme, Würsig, Bird and Tyack (1986, BBN Rep. 6265), which is the best available literature on the subject for feeding gray whales. Malme et al. (1986, pages. 3-133 and 3-134) used information from migrating gray whales to make conclusions about noise impacts on feeding gray whales changing mitigation measures without more complete review. Some literature suggests that the reactions of migrating whales to noise may be greater than that of feeding whales. This issue was discussed in the noise teleconference and the points made were considered in the noise management strategy. In the noise teleconferences, a major concern related to behavioural reaction was transient noises. This was addressed in updated noise criteria, which were emailed to experts on July 1st. The noise criteria have since been updated based on a proposed criteria submitted by one of the panel members and were further discussed during the teleconference on 24 July (8). Details on the revised action criteria are in item 4.1. Changes in mitigation measures have taken place if this was considered appropriate only after a careful review of the data available and after consultation with experts. The use of mitigation measures is closely tracked in the field and all instances of their implementation are recorded (8). Sakhalin Energy receives daily reports from the field and can modify mitigation measures if necessary. (REFS: 8). The post-field season data analyses will add further to our understanding of noise and whales. Sakhalin Energy’s approach is consistent with that used by Malme, Würsig, Bird and Tyack (1986, BBN Rep. 6265), which is the best available literature on feeding gray whales. Malme et al. (1986, pages. 3-133 and 3-134) used information from migrating gray whales to make conclusions about noise impacts on feeding gray whales. Sakhalin Energy agrees with the recommendation to demonstrate with 2005 data that regardless of perimeter received levels the criterion of >120dB ensonification of fewer than five whales was met. Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation Various of the Continuous Noise recommendations of IISG
Other B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 19.1 N/A WGWAP implementation In addition to the independent advisory body described above, there is an additional need for a long-term, comprehensive, international strategy for the recovery and conservation of the WGW. This strategy should incorporate oil and gas operations, but also other factors that threaten the long-term persistence of this population. Such an effort is particularly important for addressing the cumulative effects of all these risk factors. Because the oil and gas industry poses significant risks to the WGW population, it should provide significant, ongoing support for this comprehensive strategy. Resolution of this issue should include agreements in principle regarding provision of support for the comprehensive strategy and an outline of arrangements for developing and implementing it. Sakhalin Energy supports the development of a cooperative review body that will in the short-term bring together representatives from Sakhalin Energy and the scientific community at an annual meeting held under the auspices of the IUCN. Over the long-term, Sakhalin Energy supports the development of an International Forum for the Conservation of the Gray Whale that will bring together representatives from all of the range states as well as broad industry-wide participation. Terms of Reference for the advisory body are under development. IUCN, Sakhalin Energy ongoing Closed - implemented/resolved satisfactorily
Oil B. Lenders Vancouver Iworkshop report, issues table 13.2 N/A Oil spill & gas associated risks Use and effects of dispersants requirefurther discussion and evaluation, including investigation of the potential toxic effects of dispersants. Sakhalin Energy has no intention to use dispersants near theWGW feeding area. OSRPs being developed and will include development of protocols for use of dispersants. A risk assessment relating to dispersant use is being conducted. (REF: 29a) Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-3/017
Noise B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 5.1 N/A Continuous noise The action criteria have not been defined with sufficient specificity and ""acceptable"" responses have not been adequately defined. Without such specificity regarding when actions will be taken and what types of responses are acceptable, it is not possible to judge whether the oil and gas-related activities will be sufficiently responsive to the needs of WGWs. Mitigation measures through temporal separation may not be adequate if and when ""peak"" seasons can be redefined without adequate justification. After the ISRP review but prior to the Gland workshop, Sakhalin Energy revised their definitions of seasons used to provide the most separation in time. The revisions effectively shortened the peak season at both ends with the end result being the potential for more overlap between presence of whales and noise-generating activities. Sakhalin Energy justified the change of season by referring to data on arrival and departure times of whales in the area. No actual data were provided for review, but descriptions of those data at Gland suggested that they were limited to a single year. Such limited data are inadequate for that purpose if arrival and departure times vary considerably from year to year. Seasons are now defined Marine Mammal Protection Plan (2005) as follows (these are changed from previous version of WGW Protection Plan): Off season - December to April; Early season - May to June; Peak season - July to September; and Late season - October to November. During the development of the 2003 Protection Plan there was less information available regarding whale distribution and abundance. The new season definitions were updated based on continuing analysis of all presently available distribution and abundance data. (REFS: 8, 29b). For information: - the extension of the early and late season has no implication for the mitigation measures as all measures apply during the whole summer season; - the extension of the seasons does not result in an increase in overlap between presence of activities and whales as the total duration of construction activities remain the same. It does, however, encourage the operators to schedule noisy activities in June or October as during these months less whales are present than during July-Sept. The distribution maps will be updated annually to include new data. Sakhalin Energy recognises the value of temporal separation as a mitigation measure, and uses this approach when practical. Sakhalin Energy accepts that further discussion on these issues should take place with the WGWAP. Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 3.6 N/A Continuous noise Sakhalin Energy raised its noise threshold from 120 dB to a 4-hour average of 140 dB based on studies of migrating gray whales. Among other things, this change has not been demonstrated as consistent with ALARP. The basis for this change has not been explained and some experts raised the need for more objective, transparent risk assessment in their written response to documents received prior to Gland. The criteria in the CEA that were used in the planning and design stage defined acceptability as <5 individual WGWs potentially avoiding the part of the feeding area ensonified by levels of >120dB. This automatically implies that the noise levels measured at the edge of the feeding area can exceed 120 dB and still be considered acceptable. The criteria proposed at Gland are action criteria to be applied in the field situation and Sakhalin Energy has modified the original proposed field action criteria presented in Gland following further discussions with scientists during various teleconferences (8). The amended criteria are outlined below in 4.1. It should be noted that these noise action criteria and monitoring protocol were designed to determine if the predicted impact in terms of a noise footprint of >120 dB in the feeding area and associated potential numbers of whales avoiding were as measured. Noise monitoring results of the PA-BCGBS showed that measured noise levels were as modeled during the planning phase. (REFS: 8, 29b). The post-field season data analyses of the PA-B noise measurements combined with the distribution, abundance and behavioural data will add further to our understanding of noise disturbance and whales. Sakhalin Energy accepts the recommendation to demonstrate that the impact criteria used were achieved in practice. See also 3.5 above. Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation Various of the Continuous Noise recommendations of IISG
Oil B. Lenders Vancouver Iworkshop report, issues table 14.2 N/A Oil spill & gas associated risks In the event of a spill, investigations willbe required to assess direct acute and chronic effects on WGW. Sakhalin Energy accepts that this issue will go to the WGWAP. Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation WGWAP-3/024& 3/026
Noise B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 6.1 N/A Continuous noise Additional methods are needed to mitigate the effects of noise - e.g. avoiding critical habitats. Selection of alternative 1 pipeline route maximizes the spatial separation within the context of the 3 options assessed. The location of the PA-B location was raised as a related issue (addressed below). Selection of Alternative 1 for the pipeline route avoids passing directly through the western gray whale feeding ground. The selection of the PA-B position is explained in two main supporting documents--see Issue 17.1 for details. (REFS: 13, 25) Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - no longer relevant but had not been implemented satisfactorily at the time it became moot
Noise B. Lenders Vancouver I workshop report, issues table 3.8 N/A Continuous noise It is critical to learn as much as possible from this exposure of gray whales to noise during this 2005 summer. Among other things, noise levels must be monitored continuously on the periphery of the feeding grounds, and corresponding whale behaviour must be documented. The results should be made publicly available so that the scientific value of this ""experiment"" can be maximized in terms of what we learn about noise impacts. At the end of the season a full report should be published on what mitigation measures, if any, were taken during the construction season in response to measured noise levels, how these were implemented and any relevant experience gained from their implementation. Sakhalin Energy has developed a comprehensive monitoring programme to assess all potential impacts and will conduct a full analysis of the data following completion of the field season. Noise has been measured in real time during both the LUN-A and PA-B installations. (REFS: 8, 9, 19, 29b). Full analyses of all data collected with be conducted after the field season and the reports will be made public. Sakhalin Energy accept that this issue is subsumed in 3.4 and 3.6. Sakhalin Energy N/A Closed - superseded by a new recommendation Various of the Continuous Noise recommendations of IISG and later the MVA recommendations of WGWAP superseded this one.

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