Navigation Links
Assessing noise impact of offshore wind farm construction may help protect marine mammals

SOLOMONS, MD (November 4, 2013) Growth in offshore wind generation is expected to play a major role in meeting carbon reduction targets around the world, but the impact of construction noise on marine species is yet unknown. A group of scientists from the United Kingdom and the United States have developed a method to assess the potential impacts of offshore wind farm construction on marine mammal populations, particularly the noise made while driving piles into the seabed to install wind turbine foundations. Their work is published in the November issue of Environmental Impact Assessment Review.

"Pile-driving during the construction of offshore wind farms produces an incredible amount of noise," said Helen Bailey, one of a group of scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science who are studying the impacts of wind turbines on the environment. "This is potentially harmful to marine species and has been of greatest concern to marine mammal species, such as protected populations of seals, dolphins and whales."

Their research is based on ongoing construction in and around the North Sea, where many proposed wind farm sites are on submerged offshore sandbanks that also provide important habitats for marine mammals and seabirds. Previously attention had focused on the potential impacts to birds, but this new work is looking at how to assess the potential long-term impact of construction on protected marine mammal populations, particularly harbor seals. In the United States, this type of assessment could be applied to wind turbine construction that may impact a number of endangered species, including the North Atlantic right whale, the humpback whale, and fin whale.

"Our framework takes a worst case assessment of the short term impacts of noise and how these may influence longer term population change, thereby providing information that allows regulators to balance their efforts to meet both climate change targets and existing environmental legislation," said the study's lead author Paul Thompson of the University of Aberdeen.

Harbor seals can be impacted by the noise in several ways. Loud construction activities can cause traumatic hearing injury or death at close range. The disturbances may lead seals to avoid the area and lose favorite feeding grounds, potentially causing greater competition in other areas. It could also have an impact on reproduction or survival rates. Changes in hearing sensitivity could make seals more vulnerable to predation, and make it more difficult to find food or to find mates.


Contact: Amy Pelsinsky
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Related biology news :

1. Assessing a new technique for ensuring fresh produce remains Salmonella-free
2. Public lecture at UC Riverside to discuss challenges in assessing human impact on ecosystems
3. Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too
4. Unexpected discovery reveals a new mechanism for how the cerebellum extracts signal from noise
5. Human noise has ripple effects on plants
6. ONR taps research teams to help reduce jet noise
7. Noise down, neuron signals up
8. NOAA: Underwater noise decreases whale communications in Stellwagen Bank sanctuary
9. Ship noise makes crabs get crabby
10. A new method for measuring the flow of traffic a street has to bear by measuring atmospheric noise
11. Pitt team finds mechanism that causes noise-induced tinnitus and drug that can prevent it
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Assessing noise impact of offshore wind farm construction may help protect marine mammals
(Date:11/12/2015)... LONDON , Nov. 11, 2015   ... and reliable analytical tools has been paving the ... and qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, ... sensors are being predominantly used in medical applications, ... and environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Law Enforcement ... offering. --> ) has ... Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three ... the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards ... who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company"), affirms that its business and prospects remain ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB ... program to completion following review of the final ... met Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest share ... The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations is ... volume share for the region in the short ... in the CRO industry will improve. ... ), finds that the market earned revenues ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential ... bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million ... (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture Capital brought together dozens ... BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. , Now, the top ... of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super Bowl 50, and an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: