Navigation Links
Seals forage at offshore wind farms
Date:7/21/2014

By using sophisticated GPS tracking to monitor seals' every movement, researchers have shown for the first time that some individuals are repeatedly drawn to offshore wind farms and pipelines. Those man-made structures probably serve as artificial reefs and attractive hunting grounds, according to a study published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on July 21.

"I was shocked when I first saw the stunning grid pattern of a seal track around Sheringham Shoal," an offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom, says Deborah Russell of the University of St Andrews. "You could see that the individual appeared to travel in straight lines between turbines, as if he was checking them out for potential prey and then stopping to forage at certain ones."

Russell and her colleagues tagged harbor and gray seals on the British and Dutch coasts of the North Sea. Their data showed 11 harbor seals within two active wind farms, Alpha Ventus in Germany and Sheringham Shoal in the southeast UK. At both sites, some individual seals regularly entered the wind farms and, in some cases, showed these striking grid-like movement patterns as they appeared to forage at individual turbines.

The researchers also observed both gray and harbor seals associating with subsea pipelines. Two seals in the Netherlands encountered a section of pipeline and followed it on multiple trips for up to 10 days at a time.

It's not yet clear what the implications for seals and their prey will ultimately be as the number of active wind farms continues to grow, the researchers say.

"Only a small proportion of our study seals utilized wind farms or pipelines," Russell says. "At present these structures cover a small proportion of the extent of the at-sea distribution of seals. As wind farms become more extensive, many more seals will likely be affected."

The researchers now hope to continue their research to understand the population consequences of the massive planned developments. For instance, no one knows yet whether wind farms increase the total amount of prey available to seals or simply concentrate prey in a new and man-made location, making the prey particularly vulnerable to predation. The researchers say it will be imperative to resolve this uncertainty so that anthropogenic structures can be designed and managed to reduce adverse and increase any positive effects of these structures.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
moleary@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New study shows how seals sleep with only half their brain at a time
2. Seals gamble with their pups futures
3. Greenlands viking settlers gorged on seals
4. Southern elephant seals likely detect prey bioluminescence for foraging
5. Gray seals consume as much fish as the fishing industry catches
6. Changes in forage fish abundance alter Atlantic cod distribution, affect fishery success
7. Clemson researchers: Different forage affects beef cattle weight, taste
8. New menhaden study will help identify balance between fishing and preserving Bay forage fish
9. Study provides first-time analysis of 3 distinct contributions of forage fish worldwide
10. Impaired recovery of Atlantic cod -- forage fish or other factors?
11. Geosphere covers Mexico, the Colorado Plateau, Russia, and offshore New Jersey
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Seals forage at offshore wind farms
(Date:2/8/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... an individual,s voice to match it against a ... voice such as pitch, cadence, and tone are ... systems require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs ... remotely for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly ... 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ... the global markets for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global ... projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... -- Report Highlights The global biosurgery market ... in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) ... - An overview of the global market for biosurgery. ... 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound annual growth ... on the basis of product type, source, application, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/18/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Japan ... estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. ... data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. This ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , Feb. 17, 2017  BioGenex, a ... announce development of a novel system for quantitative ... with the University of Rochester (NY, USA) and ... The new system is able to accurately quantify ... HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) in clinical ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... hobbyists, and DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), are ... safety officers to use drones effectively, and support educational outreach efforts. , AMA ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... 2017 , ... EIT Digital has launched work to develop a ... studies are about to get under way for the framework, which is designed to ... concept is expected to be transferred eventually to other industries that also require efficient ...
Breaking Biology Technology: