Fishing industry taking its expertise worldwide with new marine environmental services company

Steven Alexander, Managing Director and Greg Wood, Marine Operations Coordinator
Steven Alexander, Managing Director and Greg Wood, Marine Operations Coordinator

SFF Services Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, is transferring provision of its environmental services division to a newly established company, Marine Environmental Solutions (MES).

The growing market for offshore environmental services is largely driven by the continuing growth of the offshore energy industries. Global energy demand is increasing faster than ever and fossil fuels will still meet 70% of that growth, while worldwide offshore wind capacity is expected to double between 2018 and 2027. This growth combined with a rising awareness of environmental issues means that offshore industries must work harder than ever to manage their impact on the marine environment.

The first of MES’s core services is cetacean monitoring and noise mitigation, including Marine Mammal Observer (MMO), Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM), and Acoustic Deterrent Device (ADD) personnel and equipment. It is well known that industrial noise can be harmful to marine mammals, and MES brings recognised capability, with experience in cetacean monitoring both at home (in the UK marine mammals are protected by law) and abroad, having pursued opportunities in the Falklands, Greenland, Australia and North America.

MES’s second core service is seabed debris clearance, developed primarily for the oil and gas sector to help the industry achieve its’ 35% cost reduction targets for decommissioning, and also meet the clear seabed requirements set by UK Government. This service, forecast to begin activities in the UKCS sector in April 2020, is already generating significant interest from oil and gas operators for final stage site remediation work. It is also attracting considerable interest from offshore renewables for cable route clearance works, and from marine salvage operators.

In addition to its core activities MES will provide a range of inshore and offshore marine survey services including grab sampling, seabed sampling, drop-down camera survey, multi-beam survey, and ROV survey. Environmental monitoring activities, and marine consultancy services complete the offering.

Steven Alexander, Managing Director of MES, commented, “This is an exciting opportunity to develop a robust environmental service offering, and build on work that has been done over the past thirty plus years. SFFSL has been successful in developing its’ services in the UKCS Scottish sector, but these services are now of interest to a wider market, and there is an opportunity to export our capability further afield. This is what we hope to achieve with Marine Environmental Solutions.”

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