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Oil and gas companies carry out offshore seismic surveys to help them find undersea oil and gas. Seismic work, like the fisheries themselves, can affect fish and shellfish populations, both immediately and further down the line. Fish, especially eggs and larvae, are killed during seismic surveys, and catch rates may drop immediately after a survey. Fortunately, the equipment used in seismic surveys has improved over time, collecting better quality information and reducing environmental problems.

CEF stays abreast of developments in seismic technology and methods of evaluating impacts. We routinely prepare assessment of surveys for submission to regulatory agencies, including:

  • site hazards surveys;

  • 2D seismic surveys; and

  • 3D seismic surveys.

These assessments include a review of current and proposed fishing patterns in and around the survey area, as well as reviews of other key resources, such as marine mammals, seabirds, and special management areas. We have also designed and delivered successful workshops on the interactions between seismic work and the fishery.

We help oil and gas companies, or geophysical companies, make sure they know whom to contact to minimize potential conflicts offshore. We can identify groups and contacts, as well as methods of contact, or help in the overall communication process. We maintain up-to-date information on interest groups and contacts. Don't wait for conflicts to happen - let us make sure you avoid them.


CEF designed workshops on how seismic surveying and the fisheries interact, tailored to the Cape Breton context. Working with international specialists from Fawley arl in Southampton and the Shetland Fishermens Association, we delivered all-day sessions that brought glowing reviews from participants. Modules included a review of the Gulf of St. Lawrence fisheries, the techniques of seismic surveying, the regulatory framework, international research on the environmental effects of seismic work, the experience of the Shetlands fishing community with offshore oil and gas development in the North Sea, and an interactive workbook on how impacts are assessed.



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