Impulsive sounds generated during seismic surveys have elicited behavioral responses in marine mammals and could cause hearing impairment or injury. Mitigating exposure to seismic sound often relies on real-time marine mammal detection. Detection performance is influenced by detection method, environmental conditions, and observer experience. We conducted a field comparison of real-time detections made by marine mammal observers (MMOs), a rotating infrared (IR) camera, and via passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). Data were collected from a 38 m research vessel offshore Atlantic Canada. Our results indicate that overall detection rates increase when complementary methods are used. MMOs and PAM are likely the most effective combination during high seas and precipitation. PAM and IR can be used in darkness. In good visibility, MMOs with IR or PAM should increase detections. Our results illustrate the importance of addressing false positive IR detections, matching system capabilities to sea conditions/species of interest, and employing experienced observers.